Minister tries to allay job loss fears

2011-03-04 16:07

Durban - Labour Minister Mildred Oliphant on Friday sought to allay fears that proposed amendments to the Employment Equity Act would lead to job losses.

"The issue of assessing workplace profiles in relation to national or regional demographics has been blown out of proportion," Oliphant said at an SA Clothing and Textile Workers' Union (Sactwu) conference.

"Our intention is not to replace a regional demographic profile with a national profile as the benchmark for the profile of a workplace," she said.

Oliphant dismissed recent reports that about a million coloureds in the Western Cape and 300 000 Indians in KwaZulu-Natal were at risk of losing their jobs if the amendments went through.

The bill was drafted by the department of labour when the government's new spokesperson Jimmy Manyi was its director general.

Manyi has been under fire since a video clip was broadcast on YouTube last week of him saying that there was an "oversupply" of coloureds in the Western Cape.

On Wednesday, further remarks attributed to Manyi about Indians were published by the Democratic Alliance.

"Indians, we should be having only 3% (of positions on management). They are sitting at 5.9. I call it the power of bargaining. Indians have bargained their way to the top," Manyi said in an address delivered to the Durban Chamber of Commerce last year.

It has been questioned whether his attitude and comments may have impacted on the changes to the act.

Oliphant said the amendment removed the reference to both the regional and national demographic profiles to allow companies the flexibility to transform their workplace without any prejudice.

She said the amendments would still be discussed at the National Economic Development and Labour Council, where a solution would be found through consensus.

"These are just proposals and there are still further processes to be followed before a final decision on this and other amendments are reached," she said.

  • Johan - 2011-03-04 16:33

    dear minister. please explain to me how you can state that assessing the western cape to a national vs regional demographics will not have an impact. any idiot knows it does. the western cape and kzn has unique demographics. if someone is currently employing around 50% coloured people to comply with the local demographics of the western cape, surely he has to change to get to the national 80% of african black.

  • pap & wors - 2011-03-04 16:48

    These amendments were approved by the cabinet. Which means that the government has every intention of implementing them. Are they now going to practice social engineering by creating and untenable situation for employers?

  • JVH - 2011-03-04 17:20

    This is nothing else but blatant racial discrimination. I hope that my other fellow citizens who are affected now open their eyes and come out in their millions to vote against this government. .

  • john - 2011-03-04 17:26

    They are making it near impossible to want to employ people. Employers already have to put in long hours just to get through all the SARS,health and safety,UIF,SDL,VAT legislation. Nobody forces an employee to work for an employer. Why must the employer be forced to employ people unwilling to work and deny those that have the right attitude jobs. No employer in his right mind will fire or lay off an employee worth his salt. Business is hard work and extremely risky, very few make it. The new labour laws will impact negatively on job creation.

  • Hans-Erik Iken - 2011-03-04 17:34

    Interesting take on the matter. So the amendments on the law will be passed but not enforced? Then why pass the amendments at all? Surely laws are there to be followed, and if not enforced? If the law is not enforced it is a paper tiger. if it is enforced they will face a revolt in the western cape. They had best repeal the amendments or they will have painted themselves into a corner. It is going to be interesting to watch how they squirm out of this one.

  • Meanleader - 2011-03-21 17:49

    I smell a rat !

  • Meanleader - 2011-03-21 17:50

    Something smells fishy !

  • Meanleader - 2011-03-21 17:51

    Dear Lord have mercy on the Coloureds and Indians !

  • Meanleader - 2011-03-21 17:52

    You got that one innit !

  • Meanleader - 2011-03-21 17:55

    what is the reason then ?

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