All data is delayed
See More

Union: Saps affirmative action invalid

Jul 19 2012 17:51

Johannesburg - Trade union Solidarity filed papers at the Johannesburg Labour Court on Thursday, asking for the SA Police Service (Saps) affirmative action plan to be declared invalid.

Solidarity deputy general secretary Dirk Hermann said in a statement that the union aims to dismantle the entire plan.

"We cannot continue taking individual cases to court. Now for the first time we are taking to court the root of the problem, namely absolute racial representation," he said.

The union has already taken Saps to court in 14 separate cases.

Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa, Labour Minister Mildred Oliphant and police commissioner General Riah Phiyega were named as respondents in the documents.

Mthethwa's spokesperson Zweli Mnisi said he had not seen the papers, and could not comment on its contents.

"(It is) safe to say if the matter is brought before court, then our legal team will handle the matter accordingly."

In the papers Solidarity claimed that Saps' affirmative action plan amounted to social manipulation based on blatant race and gender quotas.

It said the "ideal" race-based targets set by the Saps affirmative action plan between 2010 to 2014 were 79.35% for Africans, 2.46% for Indians, 8.85% for coloureds and 9.34% for whites.

The union claimed this was unconstitutional.

"Under the constitution it is impermissible to discriminate on the grounds of race and gender. The Employment Equity Act, in outlawing discrimination, echoes this principle," the papers said.

It said the "naked pursuit" of demographic representation based on racial factors can never be lawful.

"The enactments legitimate affirmative action measures in order to redress the inequities of the past, but they positively decline to sanction social engineering mechanically designed to produce racial and gender representation in the future."

It said that the plan did not take into account the regional differences in racial demographics.

"For example, the representation of coloured people is made to depend on national demographics despite the preponderance of such persons in the Western Cape."

Hermann said the "problem" with absolute racial representation was that employers were beginning to "believe it was proper thing to do".

"Solidarity wants to petition the court to give its verdict on the question of whether this practice is allowed by the Employment Equity Act and the constitution of South Africa," he said.

"The irony is that this racial ideology is hitting ordinary South Africans the hardest: people who are victims of poor service in various areas, including poor policing service."

He said the court date for the case has not been set yet.

solidarity  |  saps  |  affirmative action


Read Fin24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Company Snapshot

We're talking about:


Marketing is a big concern in SA's small business community, followed by a lack of confidence and partnering with the wrong people, according to a survey.

Money Clinic

Money Clinic
Do you have a question about your finances? We'll get an expert opinion.
Click here...

Voting Booth

The 25 basis points interest rate increase is:

Previous results · Suggest a vote