'Employment equity report flawed'

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Jobless1 . File photo: Simphiwe Mbokazi.

Johannesburg - The 14th Commission for Employment Equity (CEE) report was littered with mathematical and interpretation errors, the Solidarity Research Institute (SRI) said.

Researcher Dirk Groenewald said the report was based on a “dogmatic adherence” to racial demographics of South Africa's economically active population.

“By not considering factors like the pool of suitably qualified individuals, economic conditions and dynamics of business sizes, the CEE keeps using an irrational and unsuitable yardstick to measure the extent of racial transformation in the labour market.”

The commission's findings, released earlier in the day, included that less than 20 percent of South Africa's top management positions were occupied by black Africans.

Groenewald said the report was largely focused on top management level, even though this level represented less than half a percent of the total number of workers covered by the report.

He took issue with draft regulations, released for public comment earlier this year, which provided practical guidelines on how to implement employment equity law in the workplace and revised definitions of designated groups.

Labour Minister Mildred Oliphant said earlier the regulations were not intended to disadvantage any of the designated groups, particularly Indians and coloureds.

Employers should use regional and national demographics to determine transformation targets, she said.

Groenewald said the consequences of the regulations, if implemented, were of importance, rather than the intention behind them.

“While the minister may indeed not intend to cause harm, the draft regulations, if implemented, will undoubtedly cause great harm to all minority groups in South Africa.

“The result will be to force minorities to migrate to different regions in order to find work.”

Groenewald said the SRI would study the report in greater detail before providing full comment on it. - Sapa

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