Police, army equity targets contradictory
Johannesburg - The equity targets (EE) of the police and defence departments have contradictory objectives, the SA Institute of Race Relations (SAIRR) said on Tuesday.
"One wants to increase the proportion of white people in its ranks while the other intends to do the exact opposite," SAIRR said in a statement.
It was referring to the defence department and the SA Police Force (SAPF).
The statement said that EE targets of the defence department, and military veterans, as set out in the defence review guidelines, proposed a staff complement of 65% African, 24% white, 10% coloured and 1% Indian.
However, the SAPF, in its 2010 EE targets, is seeking an employee mix of 79% African, 9.6% white, 8.9% coloured, and 2.5% Indian.
"This would match the proportions of whites and Africans in the broader South African population," the statement said.
SAIRR said by March 2010, the racial breakdown of staff in the SAPF was 74% African and 13% white. This meant that the SAPF had yet to meet its 2010 affirmative action targets.
"This would mean offloading some of the ‘excess’ white employees."
The defence department’s African and white staff proportions in March 2009 were 70% and 17% respectively.
"For its targets to be met, the department would have to shed 5% of their African staff and increase the white staff complement by 7%."
Kerwin Lebone, a member of SAIRR, said "it was curious" that, while the SAPF was committed to making the organisation racially representative, the defence department wanted to employ more whites than required by demographic considerations.
"‘This might signal that the lack of skills in defence is more acute than in the police," Lebone said.