Tougher equity fines in law revamp: SAIRR

2011-03-03 10:58

Johannesburg - Companies in the Western Cape face fines as high as 10% of turnover should they not comply with proposed labour equity laws drafted under the then labour department director general Jimmy Manyi, the SA Institute of Race Relations (SAIRR) said on Thursday.

Companies in the Western Cape would face "enormous challenges" if the proposed changes to the Employment Equity Act (EEA) were signed into law, it said.

Manyi has been under fire since a video clip was broadcast on the YouTube website 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.

National Planning Minister Trevor Manuel called Manyi a "worst-order racist" over his comments.

Trade federation Cosatu said Manyi's utterances cast serious aspersions on his suitability for senior public office and that his attitude and comments, made while he was director general for the department of labour, may have impacted on the changes to the act.

Government Communication and Information Services deputy CEO Vusi Mona has since apologised for the statements on Manyi's behalf.

The ANC and the Labour Minister Mildred Oliphant have also repudiated the comments.

"Ironically, though Manyi’s comments about coloured ‘over-concentration’ in the Western Cape have been repudiated by both the ANC and minister Manuel, the bill has been approved by the cabinet and is in line with Manyi’s thinking," the SAIRR said.

The institute pointed out that an employer of 1 000 people in a factory in the Western Cape who had succeeded in fulfilling regional demographics would have a workforce that was 29.1% African, 54.8% coloured, 0.5%  Indian and 15.6% white.

"In actual numbers, his workforce would comprise 291 Africans, 548 coloured people, five Indians, and 156 whites.

"But because the goalposts are to be shifted from regional to national demographics, his workforce will have to become 73.7% African, 10.9% coloured, 3.2% Indian and 12.2% white."

Anthea Jeffery, the head of special research at the institute, said employers seeking to meet the new targets in Manyi's bill had four options.

"Option one - the employer can keep his workforce at 1 000 people. However, to attain the right racial proportions, he would have to reduce his coloured staff from 548 to 109 and his white staff from 156 to 122, while increasing his African employees from 291 to 737 and his Indian workers from five to 32," Jeffrey said.

"He would thus have to lay off 439 coloured people and 34 whites."

The employer's second option would be to reduce his overall workforce by 60% so that his existing 291 African employees made up 73.7% of his reduced workforce of 395 people.

"He would then retain all his 291 African employees, but would have to bring down his coloured employees to 43 and his white staff to 48. His Indian employees would need to go up to 13. He would then have to lay off 505 coloured and 108 white employees."

An employer's third option, should he not want to retrench any of his coloured staff, would be to increase the staff complement more than fivefold to 5 032.

"His existing coloured staff of 548 people would then make up 10.9% of this expanded workforce.

"To acquire the correct racial proportions, he would then need 3 709 Africans, 161 Indians, and 614 whites.

"He will have to quintuple his staff not because of increased demand for his products but because this offers a way of avoiding either costly retrenchments or new fines ranging from two percent to 10% of turnover."

The fourth option for an employer was to ignore the new racial targets envisaged by the bill and run the risk of the new fines, which would also be more difficult to avoid because the bill removed "key defences" based on skills shortages and financial constraints.

"These illustrative figures show how difficult compliance will be. They also show that coloured people in the Western Cape will either lose jobs or find it virtually impossible to obtain employment.

"The bill is thus calculated to encourage coloured people who want work to move elsewhere, exactly as Manyi has urged."

Jeffery said it appeared as though Manyi’s "racism" had infiltrated "the highest echelons of government".

She said, however, that Manuel’s comments were also "bizarre".

"For though he has branded as racist remarks about ending coloured ‘over-concentration’ in the Western Cape, he is also part of a cabinet that has approved a bill that will help achieve what Manyi wants."

Trade union Solidarity said research it conducted found that a million coloureds in the Western Cape and 500 000 Indians in KwaZulu-Natal could lose their jobs if the bill was signed into law.

  • Jan - 2011-03-03 11:17

    This is absolutely insane. Is this not turning the tide towards reversed racism??? What about all the families that are going to be left behind. And just imagine the experience that will be lost through the firing of current staff and then inputting unexperienced africans into positions ?????????? This is Africa at its worst, things will never be equal in this country!!!!!! Im actually at a loss of words due to shock at this proposed Act.

  • Paul - 2011-03-03 11:18

    racist laws written by the biggest racist of the moment...

  • Craig - 2011-03-03 11:23

    I REFUSE to comply with these blatantly racist laws. I started my business using MY money - not the GVT's I paid for my education using MY money - not the GVT's I employ people because of what they CAN DO, not because they are of xx race group. I feel that this is just another way of securing a free ride for select people on the gravy train. At school my parents worked two jobs each to send me to a private school (and paid tax on those salaries) I worked three jobs to pay my way through varsity (my three jobs were supporting the varsity's bursary fund so that the rioting students who were not paying could riot!) I pay HUGE tax on my company income, on my personal income and on my petrol and VAT. What do I personally get for this - very little... Yes the poor people need help and I gladly help, but being forced to racially profile my company - NO I REFUSE. If you dare fine me I will close down and leave RSA. I am here because I want to be here, not because I have to be here. These un-educated racist clowns in power should think before they force all of the entrepreneurs out of RSA!

  • adrian - 2011-03-03 11:23

    So the people of mixed parentage are not allowed to be employed at all. It just shows you that racial profiling doesn't work. Employment equity and all racial based laws are illegal as they are no different to apartheid.

  • Shistirrer - 2011-03-03 11:25

    This legislation has NOTHING to do with equity in the workplace. It's a clever tool being used by the ANC to force the coloured (mostly DA voting) workforce out of the Western Cape. If the ANC cannot beat us fair and square at the polls, they will use underhanded legislation to do it, with no regard for the financial and humanitarian suffering it will cause in the Western Cape. I hope that someone (the DA?) takes this legislation to the Constitutional Court.

  • 4SA - 2011-03-03 11:29

    Why must we see race. Apartheid was destroyed because of race now the ANC want to be racist and see race as a deciding factor. If i can only get qualified Coloured and Indian workers why must I employ Chinese or Arabic workers. Why are Chinese or Arabic workers not in the demographics. The person who can do the work gets the job and we build a non racist South Africa that benefits all. Get rid of the racists in all sectors even the ANC!

  • Very Very Concerned - 2011-03-03 11:34

    Where in 1st world countries is this happening?? God have mercy on South Africa and all its blacks. They are planning their own demise

  • Lekwetse - 2011-03-03 11:40

    Is this the same ANC that fought against apartheid?? This is now really reversed Apartheid!!

  • Gatiep - 2011-03-03 11:42

    They've just moved us back into District 6, (after we were kicked out because of the Group Areas Act) and now they're kicking us out again because of the Employment "equity" act. Nei my ma se kinders!

  • lovers - 2011-03-03 11:43

    may the best team win this battle

  • Q - 2011-03-03 11:44

    Businesses are already over legislated, I fear that should this bill be promulgated it will be the straw that broke the camel's back. SA's fragile economy cannot afford the massive job losses it will cause. Next they will bring back the group areas act.

  • xxx - 2011-03-03 11:45

    coloured,Indian,whites it is time to wake-up

  • Doug - 2011-03-03 11:54

    And so much for our so called rainbow nation! Mr Mandella your dream is being shattered by a bunch of money and power grabbing racists. almost 20 years down the line in a so called democratic country, and we get dictated to whom we can employ and who not. ANC wake up you are choking our country!

  • Fred - 2011-03-03 11:55

    Wow !!!! Just what we need. Our president says that creating jobs is the priority, then they introduce laws like this which will just result in massive retrenchments and businesses closing down. I personally will never open another staff-employing business in South Africa ... I'll get my stuff made overseas, much cheaper and no hassles. I was talking to some businessmen from Europe last week. They had come to look at whether to open businesses and invest in South Africa, but they said that they had found the red tape, BEE and employment laws far too frightening, so they are now looking elsewhere. Keep it up ANC, and you will not only be shedding jobs, but also shedding your tax base that keeps you in your life of luxury. Not that this would worry you, because you would always steal from the country first at the expense of the poor that you are supposed to be uplifting.

  • Vaal Donkie - 2011-03-03 11:55

    What, pray tell, is the difference between an African and a White (or Indian or Coloured, for that matter)? Tell you what,I don'twant to stick around for the answer. Please tell these Bolsheviks that if they want me gone, they can simply help pay for my flight back to germany and maybe put in a good word for me at some German IT company. That way everyone wins.

  • Jonathan - 2011-03-03 12:03

    I am with you Craig, I have also built my business using my already highly taxed money. I will employ whom I see fit, if the government wants to fine me I will also close down and take my skills and my income to another country. I am fast becoming a racist and now am starting to regret the way I used to think about it being good that the black people take over the country.

  • Francois Roux - 2011-03-03 12:06

    See, it is government and ANC policy, not just some idiot that flapped his mouth off when he shouldn't have. Even if they deny it...

  • Straatkat - 2011-03-03 12:10

    This is social engineering designed to move or force to move a section of the countries population. South Africa is a signatory to the Rome Statute. In terms of international criminal law any country that engages in social engineering to change the demographics of the country or area in a country can be taken to the International Criminal Court.

  • Shan - 2011-03-03 12:11

    I am at a loss for words. We are regressing at a rapid rate.

  • Jay - 2011-03-03 12:14

    Where do the Jewish/Yiddish (Litvak) SA citizens fit into all this? We are living in very interesting times! Shalom

  • Shane - 2011-03-03 12:17

    Craig... that was perfectly said.

  • David - 2011-03-03 12:26

    Unfortunately, Jimmy Manyi has a long record (with the help of the SABC) of trying to racially cleanse / engineer RSA’s work force to enrich his own and friends’ pockets. As a leader of the BMF, judging from his many discussions / interviews aired over the years, he displays little knowledge of the basic management principles to take SA forward.

  • rina - 2011-03-03 12:28

    What about our constitution? Surely we should be protected?

  • Here we go again - 2011-03-03 12:43

    They can sod off... I'm not handing my business and hard work over to anyone. It's called networking and outsourcing. Robots, dishwasher, tumble dryer and home automation replaced the maid and the security company already.

  • Obie - 2011-03-03 13:07

    They forgot another option. The businessman might decide it is too much of a schlep to do business in South Africa, paying tax ontop of tax ontop of fuel levies, being forced to coply to draconian racist laws, so he might just decide to stuff it all and close his shop, putting everybody out of work. Then he might go into politics and become a gazilionaire like the rest of them who do nothing but lie, cheat and steal from the taxpayers!!

  • Suzie - 2011-03-03 13:14

    Let's go and vote for the DA....let us show them!!

  • Jivetalking - 2011-03-03 13:16

    I always wondered how for instance Uganda and other African town turned to dust from what it once was during colonial times. Now I get to experience it first hande. Ever been toa supermarket cashier lately? Always two of them in a state of utter confusion over something small, holding up the whole queue-- Yes Game and Makro

  • Whistler - 2011-03-03 13:21

    Pull this off and the ANC will inherit a fly filled wasteland and discover that the cheese has moved to foreign climes.

  • Shorts - 2011-03-03 13:25

    All this reverse-apartheid racist garbage has be stopped. Most of this country's ANC 'leadshup' are showing distinct signs of suffering from cronic MMD ( Mugabe Madness Disease )

  • Totally Confused - 2011-03-03 14:05

    Please pass a bill into law which limits the number of insane decision making government officials to 0 per department.

  • Employer - 2011-03-03 14:45

    Its time to move on, close down your business and make sure you can work for yourself, without employing anyone, become a family business like the government. I would like to know since when is the coloured not black surely he has the same rights like the chinese. This is only a ploy to get the blacks employed. They cannot create jobs without retrenching other people. Who actually told them they could govern. Its about time the black citizens of this country saw through their elected leaders.I am quite sure company's will close their doors if these laws are inforced I know we will.

  • Pale Rider - 2011-03-03 15:37

    These are not real leaders running this country. We need accomplished business and political leaders, not this pathetic bunch of parasites.

  • sam - 2011-03-03 16:22

    As a coloured person I refuse to be called black. Do you call a mexican and indian or an italian a frenchman? Stop trying to tell me what I am. I already know.

  • robgun - 2011-03-03 16:25

    @Craig - I agree 100%. It's time to stop these racist pigs and tell them enough is enough. We've had ENOUGH!

  • don - 2011-03-03 16:43

    another District 6?

  • Adri Smit - 2011-03-03 17:29

    So a rugby team of 15 players(employees) will look like this 11.06 Black 1.63 Coloured 0.48 Indian and 1.83 White. This is what a kwota team should look like.Mad like ANC.

  • StarWalker - 2011-03-03 17:48

    Every country needs a strong industrial base and properly maintained infrastructure, otherwise it will deteriorate and go to ruin. One also has to adhere to proper industry standards ~ not just lip service. Synthetic politically correct type job creation wont work either! Where is the proper mentoring? Where is Olifantsfontein? I can only think, that maybe certain skill sets go hand in hand with certain mindsets. Quick fix solutions are merely an indication of desperation and denial. The already long proven, efficient and dedicated engineering skills base in SA is now being eroded. Where has AA (or similar) been applied successfully in any neighboring countries ~ I notice many job adverts online at BestJobs SA, JobMail and many other agencies advertising and looking for specialists outside their own countries! What would be the reason? In my opinion all engineering specialists in SA should be exempted from AA. The real Skills needs of SA should take national preference over AA. Doing so also makes economic and strategic sense. The country's engineering knowledge base is now at risk. One cannot buy high level experience and know-how. It comes with years of pain and dedication ~ attention to detail. I have noticed that certain countries in the world (USA and some Euro countries) are being de-industrialized, while China and a few other Oriental countries are being over-industrialized. I may well be that China is being engineered somehow to be the next super power, with India close behind in second spot. Then China will eventually control most global industries/supply lines to the Western world and maybe even run the world's new reserve currency after the demise of the USD, which in all probability will be backed by Gold and Silver. Thereafter China could end up governing the whole world - not impossible!

  • ZoemDoef - 2011-03-03 18:08

    Its about time we stand up and support a leader to take this whole thing to the constitutional court, our constitution does not support this, everyone is equal. There shall be no discrimination.... so let this now be tested.

  • Christopher Brunsdon - 2011-03-03 19:35

    Oh, please make this law a reality. I want to relocate to a small seaside village on the West Coast and do contract work instead. My skills are worthy enough to do so. I can demand a higher hourly rate, work when I want, work online and like all other contractors, work for who I want. Reality is that there are not enough skilled blacks in my industry to ever fill these race targets. Employers will just end up having to outsource more and more work. PS: Please allow me enough time to first sell of my wifes small business before we are forced to employ unwanted staff.

  • Alan - 2011-03-03 20:37

    I am cancelling my business plan and am moving to a SADEC country which does not have this beuracratic madness AND lower taxes and huge incentives.

  • burtfred - 2011-03-03 21:32

    Jimmy Manyi is worse than Julius Malema, if this is possible. The modern Goebbels. Off his racist rocker, just like his boss Zuma.

  • burtfred - 2011-03-03 21:35

    So what about Tokyo's kids? They wont be able to work in the WC because they are coloured, and there are too many of those there.

  • Haroon - 2011-03-03 23:46

    I assume therefore that my Chinese or Asian staff will have to go to Vietnam ;-) ludicrous Jimmy.

  • Derrick - 2011-03-04 10:55

    How is this racism different to pre 94's racism? Racism FREE country my backside!

  • rinzan - 2011-03-07 09:15

    I wonder what happened to the rules in the constitution (not to descriminate against colour or creed). It seems funny that people who are doing there work well should be fired in ordered to employ people who now have to learn how to do the work be employed.You also have to now leave your home of generations to go somewhere else in order to please the politicians. It is no wonder that the big banks overseas have no hope for South Africa and reckons it will go the way of Gadafi. For a country like this it is a crying shame that we even have to import our food, where we always could produce our own food in the past. Hope we can turn all this around before it is too late

  • pages:
  • 1