DA leader Helen Zille. File photo: Adrian de Kock.

Cape Town - New employment equity regulations will, if implemented, have a “profound” impact on jobs in the Western Cape, premier Helen Zille warned on Monday.

Tabling a R1.02 billion budget for her department of the premier in the provincial legislature, she told members the region's demographics were “very different from the national figures”.

The province was seeking legal opinion on whether certain sections of the Employment Equity Act and the draft regulations were lawful and constitutional.

“Speaker, as we should all be aware, (Labour Minister Mildred Oliphant) introduced draft regulations for the amended Employment Equity Act, which have raised serious concerns for us as the Western Cape government.

“The regulations specify how an employer's compliance with employment equity should be determined. If these draft regulations are implemented as they currently stand, they would have a profound impact on employment in the Western Cape...”

Once the legal opinion was received the province would announce further steps it planned to take.

“It goes without saying that we are committed to achieving equitable representation in the Western Cape government, and indeed are doing so in large part.”

Zille said the premier department's budget for 2014/15 had increased by almost 14 percent over the previous year.

“The department's budget for the 2014/15 financial year is R1,027,754,000 - which is a 13.8 percent increase compared to the 2013/14 adjusted budget.”

The increase would support “a much-needed capacity boost” to meet the expanded demand on the department's services. - Sapa