Revealing too much cleavage, back, chest, stomach and underwear has been banned in Tshwane municipal offices.
A monthly council meeting held at Sammy Marks Conference Centre heard that municipal employees did not dress the part and did not understand the importance of representing the city professionally.
Before long, the matter created a battle of the sexes in the council chamber.
Councillor Tau Motau, for the DA, threw the first gender-related punch, saying: “When it comes to dressing up, women are more daring and adventurous.”
He said it was up to municipal management to keep women in check.
“That way, the corporate identity of Tshwane will improve and we will not continue to lose valuable production time because guys are ogling various shapes and sizes of cleavage with a whole lot of dangerous curves to boot,” he said.
However, speaker of council, Morakane Mosupyoe-Letsholo, and the ANC half of the council chamber were having none of it.
Mosupyoe-Letsholo took offence to women being referred to as daring and adventurous dressers and demanded that he retracted the statement, which he did.
The policy, approved by the meeting and part of Vision 2055 aimed at remaking South Africa’s capital, is applicable to all municipal workers at all departments and regional offices.
However, while the employees who did not meet customers, stakeholders and the general public regularly could wear casual clothes, they should still be as neat and businesslike possible.
The policy emphasised that not all casual clothes were appropriate for work and that clothing that revealed too much skin was unsuitable.
Employees may also not carry visible weapons to work, except if work-related.
Where employees are required to work on weekends or public holidays, they may dress casually, but not inappropriately.
They are also required to maintain a professional standard of cleanliness and hygiene.
Hair should be clean, combed and neatly trimmed or arranged. Extreme and eccentric hairstyles, including unnatural colour, is no longer permitted.
Jewellery must be simple and neat and piercing anywhere other than the ears is not allowed and must be removed.
Only one earring may be worn on each ear, and should be of the same pair.
Tattoos may not be visible.
Certain employees may be required to wear uniforms depending on the nature of their job, but these must be clean, neatly pressed and worn appropriately.
Casual Day may be observed. However, employees must use good judgment to ensure their attire is appropriate.
Suits, blazers and jackets are only obligatory in business meetings with third parties and during other activities in which the employee is representing the city.
The attire policy will be reviewed every three years.
If unacceptable attire is worn, the manager or nominee will hold a private meeting with the employee to advise and counsel on the inappropriateness of the attire.
Management, whose decision is final, may ask an offending employee to go home. Repeated violation will result in disciplinary action.
Acceptable attire for men
Blazers, suits and jackets
Suits and tailored trousers
Suits, shirts with buttons and collars
Sweaters, cardigans, slipovers and polo-necked tops
Suits, shoes and boots
Jeans on Fridays only
Acceptable attire for women
Blouses and shirts
Scarves or foulards
Knee-length or longer dresses, skirts
Shoes and boots
Neat jeans on Fridays only
Clothes that are worn, torn or frayed with patches and holes
Flops and flat, toe-ring or thong sandals
Revealing and see-through clothing
Shorts and bermudas
Stretch or tight pants
Tank tops, tube tops, halter neck tops, spaghetti straps, off-the-shoulder tops, midriff-length tops
T-shirts with commercial or political slogans
Underwear as outerwear
Workout clothes or shoes, athletics wear, sweat pants or tennis shoes