Draft employment laws punish coloureds: DA

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Independent Newspapers

Western Cape premier Helen Zille.

 

Cape Town - The DA is considering a legal challenge to the Employment Equity Act draft regulations which it describes as prejudicial to coloured people and which it has nicknamed “The Manyi Clause”.

The reference is to notorious comments by the former government spokesman, Jimmy Manyi, while he was the director-general of labour, who said on KykNet’s Robinson Regstreeks show in March 2010 that “this over-concentration of coloureds in the Western Cape is not working for them. They should spread in the rest of the country”.

 

Now the DA believes the “racially coercive” Draft Employment Equity Regulations, published by the Minister of Labour, Mildred Oliphant, will punish coloured people.

Western Cape Premier Helen Zille said on Thursday: “Amendments to the Employment Equity Act have empowered the national minister to issue regulations that ‘must’ be taken into account when determining whether a designated employer is implementing employment equity in compliance with the act. The regulations may also specify the circumstances under which an employer’s compliance should be determined with reference to the demographic profile of either the national economically active population or the regional economically active population.”

She said that Section D of the draft regulations stated: “A designated employer employing 150 or more employees should use the national economically active population to determine equity targets for the upper three levels (top and senior management and the professionally qualified) of its workforce while employers should use an average of the national and regional economically active population for the lower levels (skilled technical, semi-skilled and unskilled).

“A designated employer with 149 employees or fewer should use the national economically active population for the upper two levels of the workforce (top and senior management). In the professionally qualified, skilled technical and unskilled occupation levels, regional demographics should be used.”

Zille said: “If these are implemented, they would have a very profound impact on employment in those provinces where provincial demographics are very different from the national figures. It would mean that coloureds, the majority population group in this province, would be denied employment and promotion opportunities. This would have a very profound impact on the provincial government, as well as other spheres of government and all enterprises.”

Her party had requested a legal opinion on whether the Employment Equity Act and the Draft Employment Equity Regulations were lawful and constitutional.

Kenneth Mubu, DA spokesman on labour, said this month that “draconian regulations are the Zuma ANC’s attempt to bring back Verwoerdian-style population control”.

Cape Argus


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