Johannesburg - Trade union Solidarity is raising funds to take on 34 more court cases relating to affirmative action, it said in a statement on Wednesday.

Solidarity estimated that it would need R10 million to take on the cases against the state and parastatals, which were in various stages of litigation, executive officer Dirk Hermann said in a statement.

“Solidarity has decided to establish a R10m legal fund to finance our campaign for equality, fairness and dignity in the workplace.

“Unfortunately, we are litigating against a state which has deep tax pockets. The state is litigating against us using our own tax money.”

The union expected that thousands of South Africans would contribute to the legal fund.

“If the state implements an unlawful practice, the private sector will follow suit, and soon it will be applied so widely that the unlawful practice becomes lawful.”

In November, the Supreme Court of Appeal ruled that the SA Police Service had clearly discriminated against Lt-Col Renate Barnard, represented by Solidarity, on the basis of race.

On Thursday Solidarity would oppose a police application seeking leave to appeal against this decision in the Constitutional Court.

“The Barnard case is a landmark event in Solidarity's struggle for equality, fairness and dignity in the workplace,” Hermann said.

It was civil society's duty to act as a watchdog of the constitutional state.

“Taking action against a state which is acting outside the legal framework and contrary to the constitutional democracy is nothing but being patriotic.”