Cape won’t bow to racial equity plan

Cape Town mayor Dan Plato. Photo: Ayanda Ndamane

Cape Town mayor Dan Plato. Photo: Ayanda Ndamane

Published Feb 24, 2011


Cape Town mayor Dan Plato says the city has “no intention” of moving away from the current policy regarding racial representation in the workplace.

Commenting on the proposed amendments to the Employment Equity Act, which would require employers to reach racial equity targets in line with national, as opposed to regional demographics, Plato said during his mayoral address in the council yesterday that he would “like to assure staff at the City of Cape Town that we have no intention of moving away from the current policy”.

Fears have been expressed that the mooted amendments would amount to social engineering, and that the local, majority coloured community would be unfairly prejudiced if amendments were approved.

“Each province has its own unique demographic, and trying to make the Western Cape comply with national equity targets is completely unrealistic,” Plato said.

“The City of Cape Town is currently well in line with provincial demographic targets, and I see no logical reason why we should move away from our current approach.”

Plato elaborated on this position later, after being asked by DA councillor Grant Twigg how possible amendments would be implemented to ensure that people in the city did not lose their jobs.

Plato responded that if the proposed amendments were implemented, it would be “catastrophic” for coloured families in the Western Cape.

“We can’t afford in Cape Town and the Western Cape that more than 1 million of our own people will lose their jobs,” he said.

“The ANC is making a big mistake and it will further polarise the political situation in the Western Cape.”

Plato said that while the ANC appeared blind to that reality, “I am warning them this is going to happen. They must not promise work opportunities in the rest of the country. They must start doing it, creating job opportunities.

“Because the Western Cape is doing well, why should all the people come to Cape Town to get job opportunities here?

“They do not have the means to create jobs for people in the rest of the country,” he charged. - Cape Argus

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