Tshwane metro accused of discrimination

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Pretoria - The Tshwane metro discriminated against a white employee by denying him a position because of his race, trade union Solidarity said on Thursday.

“Mr Jan Pretorius, has been denied appointment purely based on the fact that he forms part of the so-called over-represented group,” Dirk Groenewald, head of fair labour practice at Solidarity said in a statement.

“We are certain that this amounts to unfair discrimination.”

Groenewald said Pretorius applied for the position of foreman in the metro’s water and sanitation department, where he had been working since 1999.

“Pretorius was notified in October last year that white people were not supposed to apply for the position, but that a white man has been identified as the best candidate for the job. The position is, however, reserved for a black, female candidate,” said Groenewald.

The union was finalising legal documents to take Pretorius's matter to court, he said.

Groenewald said Solidarity had requested the metro and the labour department to review the municipality's employment equity plan.

Tshwane metro spokesman Selby Bokaba said his employers were only following the law.

“We had a discussion on a television programme with Solidarity last year regarding our employment equity plan. We also gave them the figures to see for themselves,” Bokaba said.

He said there were certain job levels at which there was an over-representation by either a certain race or gender.

“It has nothing to do with targeting a certain race, in this case Mr Pistorius.

“There are certain levels that are fully occupied by black people and we are taking steps to make sure other race groups are included in those levels. We also need to bring in people with disabilities.”

The entry level, gardeners, messengers and cleaners, mainly consisted of black people and the metro was working hard to comply with the Employment Equity Act, Bokaba said.


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