Minister lauds Woolworths

2012-09-07 19:22

Johannesburg - Labour Minister Mildred Oliphant on Friday lauded retailer Woolworths' stance on employment equity.

"As (the) government of South Africa and those that seek genuine transformation, we shall continue to encourage companies like Woolworths to continue with the transformation and integration of the society," she said in a statement.

Labour union Solidarity this week started a campaign to boycott Woolworths Holdings [JSE:WHL] after the company ignored its ultimatum to remove job advertisements from its website which the union said excluded whites.

Woolworths argued it had an obligation to meet its employment equity targets as an employer with more than 50 employees.

Oliphant said Woolworths was among listed companies that had been subjected to a review process in 2009 in terms of the Employment Equity Act.

"During this process, like any other employer that was reviewed, Woolworths committed itself to transforming their workplace by implementing their employment equity plan, as approved by the director general," she said.

When a follow-up review was done in the 2011/2012 financial year, the company had progressed in meeting its employment equity targets, she said.

"However, there are those that hate to see integration in the workplace and society in general; they seek to find fault with those that genuinely implement employment equity as a means of addressing our painful past and imbalance," she said.

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  • dieter.muller.942145 - 2012-09-07 19:33

    Share price down by 7% plus percent this week alone...let the minister compensate woolies for all the revenue lost...what a idiot....

      lynn.syme.1 - 2012-09-07 20:20

      This shows you that big business still wields the ultimate power over Government. When a minister comes out to praise them for their racist policies - you know we are in big trouble. Consumers need to put pressure on these companies, name and shame them, boycott them until they finally put pressure on the Government to change their policies.

      pieter0827006294 - 2012-09-07 20:44

      I'm wondering why Woolworths now claims on their website that this is a carefully orchestrated plot to discredit them. (I also had a look at directors dealing in their shares and noticed something very strange...)Norman Thomson sold 112,892 shares(Transaction valueR6 774 547.32) on the 3rd September. Funny enough Simon Susman also sold 307,535 shares (Transaction value R18 454 898.57) on the very same day and what do you know, Me Rylands did Off market transfer of shares (Transactions valued +-R8,000,000). Wonder what was going on in their minds at the time, mabe they had a feeling something was going to happen; but what do I know right?

      derek.francois.3 - 2012-09-07 20:51

      I have virtually stopped shopping there and would encourage other "white" 90% of tax paying citizens to do the same and show this corrupt excuse for a government who has the real power.............I'd love a complete tax boycott until all ANC corruption is rooted out.........

      john.zen.33 - 2012-09-07 21:25

      "I'd love a complete tax boycott until all ANC corruption is rooted out........." I second that!!!

      ron.rielander - 2012-09-07 22:13

      Boycott WoolWorths that all i say, Lets all stand together as whites and PURCHASE ELSEWHERE, WW will quickly change their stance on the matter, after loosing millions. lets see if the previous disadvantaged will fill in with buying power. IDIOTS.

      ken.grimblegrumble - 2012-09-07 22:32

      Yes they are about R57.00 per share. Bought some years ago @ R5.00. Today was LDT so bought another 1000.

      gerald.king.589 - 2012-09-07 22:49

      Here's whats sad. Whites excluded from jobs will be cornered into entrepreneurship for survival. The sharper few will become gazillionares and extend whites' ownership and dynasty over the Rand. All while even the best of us blacks remain complacent with our precious melanin, pouring the little we get to whites via daimler chrysler, lvmh, etc. So the cycle will go. I mean, its 20 years manje. We've got to harden up and spoonfeeding isnt the way.

  • craig.stephens.3597 - 2012-09-07 19:44

    Ask the Oliphant who will pay Woolworth's salary bill when white shoppers stop supporting them?

      ken.grimblegrumble - 2012-09-07 22:38

      White shoppers will go to Woolies whether you like it or not. PNP, Shoprite, Truworths and every other business do the same. Pop into one of their stores tomorrow and do a racial count of shoppers. I don't like BEE and agree the best person for the job. Woolies is a business not a moral crusade.

      sandy.langenstrass - 2012-09-08 18:25

      The Black folks...that say they will continue to buy from WW.....I find this strange as Woolworths couldn't be more of an Imperialistic and come from more of a colonialism back as they do.... no need to say more...

  • TSR01 - 2012-09-07 20:04

    "the transformation and integration of the society" - WHICH society? Surely not ALL of South African society, regardless of race!? Bloody imbeciles. Never shopping at / supporting WoolWorths again until they ABOLISH BEE / EE / AA /EEE / ETC.

      ken.grimblegrumble - 2012-09-07 22:40

      Don't hold your breath

      TSR01 - 2012-09-08 11:14

      I don't need to hold my breath, just my wallet - far away from WoolWorths and other racism-endorsing enterprises / corporations / institutions / etc. BEE / AA / etc. is unconstitutional because it discriminates against individuals based on ethnicity (eg. Asians, Whites, Hispanics, Europeans, etc.)

      digger.dighead - 2012-09-08 23:52

      Just a point; I have bought rotten chicken on three separate occasions from a Woolies! After getting no joy from the BEE manager I decided then already to give them a miss. The only other time it's ever happened to me was in Namibia on a trip. So stuff them, is my opinion.

  • tom.theunissen.12 - 2012-09-07 20:05

    Has this minister lost her brain? Go and read the employment act you silly women

  • lex.holmes2 - 2012-09-07 20:08

    Bunch of racists!

  • Dalen24 - 2012-09-07 20:09

    Lol.. Woolworths has a black market.. But enough to keep em heads above water? I dont think so. I predict That should the majority of whites not shop at woolworths that they will lose at least 2 thirds of their value and income.. I dont support woolworths.. Neither should you if your white and you are concerned at your WHITE childrens future.. I had no benefit or say in apartheid, but I am punished.. Looks like the same lies for my daughter the way things are.

      bharrison70 - 2012-09-07 21:40

      Woolworths need to nail that BLACK MARKET and gain their BEE clientel. Have no SA Blacks noticed how a large percentage of Woolworths's are manufactured abroad and NOT manufactured in South Africa ..... costing thousands of BEE jobs in the textile phase ?

      jenny.webbe - 2012-09-08 20:25

      Luzuko - That is fine; let the Black population shop at Woolworths. As for me, I'm not shopping there ever again. About time big companies start putting their foot down and refusing to comply with these BBEE laws, just as many of them did with the former regime. These labour laws discriminate against the tiny minority. The rich whites are in the minority of the white population; as for the rest of us, we all need jobs to feed our children and these laws are racist. Oliphant's statement simply seals it for me - goodbye Woolies, nice knowing ya.

  • petrus.keyter - 2012-09-07 20:09

    And I thought an oliphant was an intelligent thing...

      ken.grimblegrumble - 2012-09-07 22:43


      andre.walters.969 - 2012-09-08 13:34

      Well, I'll rather spend my money elsewhere.

  • - 2012-09-07 20:09

    The issue for me is that I will not stop supporting a company as a consequence of what I see in the news like this, as I am paying for product quality and service. My biggest concern is however the fact that the ANC are now trying to make industry fix something that is not in their control i.e. the demographics of the education pipeline. Since the ANC cannot even get textbook delivery correct, I think it totally stoopid to punish others for their (ANC) own incompetence. It is those measures, and the above mentioned logic which will drive away competence regardless of skin colour, and promote the concept of entitlement without competence. That being said, all of the concepts of EE are oxymoron's anyway, since equality in work is based on performance (in the real world) and not skin colour- what the ANC want is skin colour and not performance as the meter.

      ken.grimblegrumble - 2012-09-07 22:44

      Well said Paul

  • werneroli4 - 2012-09-07 20:10

    Obviously Oliphant does not understand the act as it was intended, the act calls for equity and not exclusion of all races except African blacks, by Woolworths only allowing African blacks to apply they are being racist, not only African blacks are part of the designated groups , our dear minister. Boycott Woolies

  • kevin.kramer111 - 2012-09-07 20:13

    So will Woolworths standards BEE higher or lower with hiring people BEEcause they have a particular hue to their skin?

  • warwick.elliot - 2012-09-07 20:13

    Its amazing how much power the \Minority\ have.Remember woolworths the customer is always right.Equal opportuniry for all is the best pokucy here!

  • robert.warriner - 2012-09-07 20:17

    There are those that hate to see integration in the work place ... oh for crying out loud ... just give everyone a fair chance and put the best person in the position. QED!

  • martin.pearce.3762 - 2012-09-07 20:17

    Maybe they'll adjust their prices to match the BEE of poverty? They're too damned expensive anyhow. Bye bye Woolworths Bye bye.

  • cristina.rodrigues.507 - 2012-09-07 20:21

    It's a pity that no lessons have been learnt from the past. So much for equal opportunities. Companies that discriminate should be 100% boycotted by all South Africans until policies are changed to include all regardless of ethnic group, gender, age or political affiliation.

  • dieter.muller.942145 - 2012-09-07 20:22

    What woolies should've done was say sorry...honest mistake..... Etc etc... Sheesh marketing 101... Who's in charge at woolies marketing division and what mickey mouse degree do they have? Their response is doing them more harm than the original advertisement..

      gemmaleigh.evans.3 - 2012-09-07 20:26

      Lol...well they're obviously not white from the looks of it.

      dean.polley.3 - 2012-09-07 20:52

      Probably a BEE appointee!

      chris.maakal - 2012-09-07 22:32

      one of the adverts where for a legal advisor!!!

      boltonbarry - 2012-09-08 22:30

      Luzoko. without BBE and all the other satin spawned ideas real hard working Black people with education and a decent head on their shoulders would have had a chance to work hard and climb the corporate ladders and not be embarrassed by the big majority of lazy fat kids who's only productive thing they can do is to cup their hands and beg for more money.

      wo0two0t - 2012-09-10 11:39

      Luzuko - the same way as everyone else - by working hard and earning it. Does your culture not understand hard work? If a lazy white person with a world owes me mentality came to my door asking for a job I will decline the same way as a black person - it’s not a race issue it’s a business decision. Business doesn’t work with black and white it works with hard work and motivation. That’s why it’s best to always hire the best person for the job and not the blackest.

  • - 2012-09-07 20:22

    Where is the employment equity when whites are not given an equal chance?

      ken.grimblegrumble - 2012-09-07 22:46

      Whites are employed and will continue to be employed by the company

  • basil.jacobs1 - 2012-09-07 20:29

    I have only seen one white face at the 2 Woolies near my home. So where is the demographic representation? Sunward Park and Parkrand.

      ken.grimblegrumble - 2012-09-07 22:48

      Ask to see the management if you want to see a white face or maybe ask someone to escort you to the administration department.

  • thulani.ndlovu.3572 - 2012-09-07 20:30

    Thumbs up to Oliphant for endorsing the Woolies stance.Equalize and balance out things

      boltonbarry - 2012-09-08 22:33

      For something to be balanced it needs to be of equal weight on both sides

  • crab.spotter - 2012-09-07 20:31

    This is one oliphant that has a huge memory, but a small mind to govern labour in South Africa.

  • camagu.maqina - 2012-09-07 20:33

    Maybe woolworth should be applauded for taking inniative

  • millionwatts1 - 2012-09-07 20:33

    They have so much plastic coming with their products that woolworths! I banned them long time ago. Their clothes are the most over rated nonsense too. No personality and frankly no colour.

  • larry.piggott1 - 2012-09-07 20:34

    They dont want White workers, well, like SAA, they can also do without my custom.

      ken.grimblegrumble - 2012-09-07 22:51

      Larry what you have stated is not factual simply emotional. Can you honestly give me the % of whites, I don't think so.

      larry.piggott1 - 2012-09-08 17:03

      Yes I can give you numbers, but its statements and policies that matter to me. My money goes elsewhere from now on. By the way, where was I not factual?

  • hendrikvs - 2012-09-07 20:35

    Does the minister have shares in Woolies? Or perhaps family members needing employment?

  • henk.tredoux.7 - 2012-09-07 20:53

    Painful past, agreed! How melodramatic! How bout the painful present? Looks like she (and the rest of government) have a page missing on their textbooks....last time I looked it up equal does not mean exclude! Read your ad dammit! It reads "Black, Coloured and Indian!"

  • nketso.kgwadi - 2012-09-07 20:56

    The rise in literacy and income must have prompted wollies to take the stance, so those treatening them they can go we will support EE and wollies and maybe that's how it is in their books. - 2012-09-07 22:03

      What rise in literacy? We have 1st year varsity students that battle with literacy. Is Wollies a new shop? Funny you mention rise in literacy when you spell the same word incorrectly twice*nd another word incorrectly as well

      boltonbarry - 2012-09-08 22:36

      He stuffed up "Threatening" as well

  • renier.lubbe.7 - 2012-09-07 20:58

    THE PEOPLE SHOULD NOTE: This last job advert invited "African Blacks" only. All other races were excluded.

  • sifiso.msimango - 2012-09-07 20:59

    woollies well done by excluding whites on your employment recruitment, they have been riding employment horse for donkey years, now its others turn,so no need to scream - 2012-09-07 21:50

      So racism must be applied against whites?

      lian.bell1 - 2012-09-07 22:10

      Let Africa burn in its own ashes

      warren.vanwyk.3 - 2012-09-08 00:36

      @ sifiso.msimango: Are you also going to moan when these unemployed whites start their own businesses, further entrenching the economy in white hands?

  • kwbateman - 2012-09-07 21:01

    Here has been no winners in this mess.

  • Stewart Croucamp - 2012-09-07 21:04

    Now I know why the Woolworths standard has dropped and their price skyrocketed.

  • bok.droll.5 - 2012-09-07 21:06

    Im selling all my shares in Woolworths and I think all sensible whites should do the same ASAP. Woolworths should realize that intelligent people are not to be taken advantage of.

      ken.grimblegrumble - 2012-09-07 23:05

      Please do sell your shares I need to pick up some more. Today was LDT (Last Trading Day) to qualify for the latest very nice dividend. Bought another 1000 @ +-R57.00. Thank you.

  • henk.tredoux.7 - 2012-09-07 21:15

    When I go back to my homeland can I also take what I brought with? Last time I had a look Woolworths came from the UK! Happy shopping at the R5.00 shop!

      ken.grimblegrumble - 2012-09-07 23:07

      In UK Woolies is the equivalent of OK Bazaars. Woolworths in SA is modeled on UK Marks and Spenser

  • mark.haupt.31 - 2012-09-07 21:20

    Minister, if you and your comrades would just attempt, for once, to concentrate on reconciliation instead of division we may get somewhere. All you are doing is creating further division and I despair when realizing that even you don't understand the problems we have.

  • denise.wilshire - 2012-09-07 21:20

    This is hopefully going to demonstrate the "power of One". S.A.A. tried to ban white cadet pilots and that was quickly turned around when they looked at their customer base. C'mon South Africa. Vote with your cash. Then we can look at the rest. B.E.E. = reverse apartheid! F.Y.I. This is my homeland and I plan to stay here and continue making a difference for the better in my fatherland. Minister Olifant is really not able to think productively and has probably sent the Woolies shares plummeting even further with her stupid comments. Just look how backward our beloved country has become under this government!

      ryan.a.smith.3958 - 2012-09-08 11:21

      Denise you voted for the ANC ?!! eish !

  • syd.harling - 2012-09-07 21:25

    Dear Minister Oliphant, equity means equal. Woolworths was/is not applying equity but discrimination which is illegal in terms of the constitution. By excluding whites, who are a serious minority, they are not complying with the requirement to favour previously disadvantaged people which includes females (all races) and disabled people (all races). Sorry but it is wrong and discriminatory to summarily exclude all whites. After 18 years of democracy it should now be "the best person for the job". By sheer weight of numbers the blacks and other races, if capable, should be ahead on points in any event. No more of my money goes into Woolies' coffers, sorry.

  • johnny.dube.14 - 2012-09-07 21:30

    The Woolworths shareprice will keep on dropping, until the owners in the UK decide to withdraw their shareholding once the news reaches the international community. Shareholders will want to know why the share price is dropping so drastically and when it becomes internationally known that the ANC's policies is just as racist as the apartheid government's policies then more and more investors will start cashing in on SA investments. This should be a sign to government and other companies. Racism should be banned because it surpasses freedom of speech to the extent that it is exceedingly offensive to people of all races. Racism is the boss of all races because all races think that they have a better right to land and riches and that they are the "chosen" ones. Money and investments ensure that countries keep on producing and if this is not our national priority then ALL of us will suffer, regardless of skin colour. Apartheid is now long gone and become an old excuse for racist policies. Children who leave matric today were "born free" and NONE of them should have to suffer because of this country's awful history. Racism is the single biggest problem in this country - more than poverty - yet the exclusion of racism will relieve poverty. Why not give the job to the most suitable person based on merit, experience and knowledge and allow them to run companies effectively and in turn generate wealth for the whole country so that more schools can be built and services can be improved

      zelda.dickson - 2012-09-07 21:45

      I so agree with you. Let bygones be bygones. Live for today. What happened years ago had nothing to do with lots of the people today. Why carry on with racism. It is going to be the downfall of a beautiful country. The best person for the job no matter what colour or gender.

      ken.grimblegrumble - 2012-09-07 23:15

      Johnny you have your facts wrong. Woolworths does not exist in the UK. You may be thinking of Woolies which is a cheap OK Bazaars type company. Woolworths in SA is styled on Marks and Spenser. The largest shareholder in Woolworths is Government Employees Pension Fund at 17.22%

      wo0two0t - 2012-09-10 11:52

      Ken - I think the point here is that forgin shareholder will sell because of racism. The current shareholders are under Woolworths LTD but owned by Marks and Spencers in Britiain. link -

  • alexander721 - 2012-09-07 21:31

    no one has a problem with fair labor practice, only with unfair practices. and employing people who are not qualified just to meet the criteria is a problem. And detrimental to them and those who have been passed over. Woolworths has been threatened from the powers that be and the lowly man must suffer. i hope their shares drop more.

  • zelda.dickson - 2012-09-07 21:36

    Why do you think the country is going down fast. Only took the 18 years to do that.

  • johnny.dube.14 - 2012-09-07 21:42

    People of all races - including blacks - should boycott Woolworths to the point that they go bankrupt to highlight the damage that racist policies can cause to a country's economy. It's in the best interest of our country that jobs are generated for ALL races and not just one. White people can't build roads and buildings. Most white people can't even lay bricks! Why not make that a specialist field and pay those people more? The same goes for miners. They are the ones on the ground (and underneath) supplied a huge majority of the world's wealth, yet they earn peanuts. The ANC has stolen the peoples' money and the unions are the ANC's puppet masters - but now the puppets are fed-up because they are being exploited and after giving their support through votes they have been ignored by their leaders who sip on expensive drinks in upper class lounges while the ones who put them there squirm around on mudfloors in tin cans. All races must unite to alleviate poverty, but for as long as this country has racist policies the people will never be united. It's the policies that divide the people and cause the pain. The only thing that can fix it is if the country is run by more competent people who can provide for its citizens - then people don't have to express themselves with pangas and painted faces to get attention. More of the fat-cat profits and taxes should be invested back into salaries so that people can spend their money in South Africa instead of the bosses investing elsewher

      ken.grimblegrumble - 2012-09-07 23:16

      I'm not sure all the white employees at Woolworths would agree with you

      ken.grimblegrumble - 2012-09-07 23:22

      Another thing Johnny, I agree Woolworths were stupidly honest to put out the advert. They should have opened it up to everyone but with the interviewers understanding that all whites would be told "we might (NOT) come back to you".

      march54 - 2012-09-08 01:37

      If Woolworths goes bankrupt the loss of employment would be escalated way beyond its own employees. Rather vote for change of Government.

      peter.huxham.9 - 2012-09-08 09:43

      I think Spar will agree, they must be laughing all the way to the Bank, sad thing is I am sure their policies are a carbon copy of Woolies they just weren`t that stupid to put it into print.

  • inathi.mjongile - 2012-09-07 21:47

    When it used to be whites only for more than 200 years what did u think black ppl were thinking. But now is not abt that, only arrogant ppl wud think wooliesis wrong for wat they r doing. But a fact is they have to b transparent and show fairness to all races - 2012-09-07 21:55

      \But a fact is they have to b transparent and show fairness to all races\. Transparent? That is why they excluded whites from the original job post and then the attempted cover up. Whites excluded. How is that fair to all people when one race group is excluded?

      sarel.brits - 2012-09-07 23:14

      Yes and like black people did, white people are starting to resist and boycotting unfair businesses SAA is another one Affirmative Action must have a cut off point we are getting gatvol all we ask is fair chance to make living.

      eloise.botha - 2012-09-08 08:13

      The most shocking is the fact that when they started to scramble said that the jobs are \cleaning job\s that's not fit for whites and in any case whites won't be interrested in it. How racist is that towards the black ppl! No man, we are all SA citizens, woolies overplayed their hanb here!

  • chris.maakal - 2012-09-07 22:35

    Minister , please go read your departments document: point 7.3.7.

  • Khetha Hlophe - 2012-09-07 23:12

    If there are 100 whites and 1 black,there are 4 posts to be filled then which race to be hired?\r\nDo you see any equity here?

      fridge.donnerweer - 2012-09-07 23:36

      @Khetha - Last time I checked the numbers you are referring to at our Woolworths, it was the other way be exact (and I actually asked) 1 white lady...

      linda.allison.77964 - 2012-09-07 23:36

      the one with experience, not based on color

      tselydegal - 2012-09-08 10:07

      Nope dere's no so called EE, it's sad how u c de so called EE work in de damn company.Check in every woolies stores countrywide, 2 in 100 cashiers r White and rest is Black, go 2 its management all r White.De employment is imbalanced.Bullish 2 de minister who can't even c dis.Our fellow Blacks r employed 4 chaep labours

  • wwrer.ww - 2012-09-08 02:08

    The ANC can't create jobs, so now 45 million must take it from 2 million white males. Just wonderful.

      lerato.kay.3 - 2012-09-08 05:54

      Reading the Act won't hurt you at all, its all about proportional representation, more like Grade 3 maths!

  • leon.toerien - 2012-09-08 04:41

    Cheers WW! Enjoy the decline!

  • arthur.salvado - 2012-09-08 07:08

    Watch prices drop s substantially to attract their new clientele. The ultra rich black diamonds are not enough to keep woollies going. Certainly not their middle class expensive clothing. When their food prices and quality appeal to the lower middle class, then they've lost anyway. There are alternatives to Woolies. In any case, the Super Spars are way ahead of Woolies .

      wo0two0t - 2012-09-10 14:40

      Spar is soo much better than woolies in many ways.

  • leon.delange.3 - 2012-09-08 07:08

    keep on supporting one another but without the people supporting you lets wait and see what happens

  • monti.montanari - 2012-09-08 07:16

    Mildred the Elephant

  • frederikrudolph.vandyk - 2012-09-08 08:24

    Reformulated: "As the government of South Africa we shall continue to encourage racism, bigotry, cronyism, racial supremacy and corruption, both within ourselves and in the private sector, all in the name of creating a democratic, transformed and equal SA" And George Orwell: "All are equal, though some are more equal than others".

  • jacques.weidemann - 2012-09-08 08:36

    I support Employment equity, but clearly the minister herself does not understand the act. As a white person I can live iwth standing 4th in the queu but total exclusion? Since when is that constitutional?

  • michael.barns.1 - 2012-09-08 08:41

    Spoken like a typical uneducated government official.

  • J.A.Rademan - 2012-09-08 08:50

    By creating a painful future!! Pathetic way of dealing with it.

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