SAPS affirmative action challenged

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Johannesburg - Trade union Solidarity will approach the Labour Court in Johannesburg on Wednesday in a bid to declare the police's employment equity plan illegal.

“The SAPS employment equity plan amounts to race quotas, leading to a situation that a person’s race can form an absolute barrier to employment,” Solidarity CEO Dirk Hermann said in a statement on Tuesday.

Hermann said the police's equity plan was formulated in 2010 for the period 2010 to 2014.

“The plan states, among other things, that promotions in the SAPS will be distributed according to the national racial demographics as approximated in Statistics SA's 2006 mid-year population estimates,” he said.

According to Hermann, the plan used national racial demographics as the only yardstick for measuring equitable representation, which he said was illegal.

The Employment Equity Act forbade barriers to employment or promotion, he said.

“Furthermore, the act requires that a range of factors, and not only race, should be considered in determining equitable representation.”

Hermann said a favourable outcome for Solidarity would affect the entire labour market.

“Every employment equity plan in itself will become a contested terrain and open to tests for rationality and suitability, over and above the way in which the plan is applied,” he said.

Comment from police spokesman Lt-Col Solomon Makgale could not immediately be obtained.


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