Zuma reassures on employment bill

2011-03-07 17:27

Johannesburg - President Jacob Zuma moved on Monday to allay fears about the draft Employment Equity Bill.

In a statement issued by the presidency, Zuma assured members of the Indian and coloured communities that government would not enact or implement any legislation in conflict with the constitution and the non-racial ethos and foundations of South Africa.

"The president met with the Minister of Labour Ms Mildred Oliphant (on Monday) to discuss proposed changes to the Employment Equity Act legislation, in particular the concerns raised by members of the coloured community."

Oliphant had assured Zuma the legislation is intended to improve the employment prospects of the designated groups, and not to make it difficult for them to obtain employment or to advance in their careers.

The changes in the act which cause concern relate to Section 42(a) (i), which states that in determining whether an employer was complying with the act, certain factors should be taken into account.

The act currently provides for "demographic profile of the national and regional economically active population (EAP)".

The proposed change in the bill states the "demographic profile of the economically active population".

"It is important to note that nowhere in the proposed change is there a proposal to remove 'regional' and leave 'national'; in fact, both 'national and regional' were removed."

The reason for removal of the two elements was that employers had been enquiring over the years from the labour department how they should implement both regional and national demographics of the EAP in their workplaces.

As a result of these enquiries, the change was being proposed.

The intended outcome of the new proposed amendment is for employers to have the flexibility to decide whether to use regional or national demographics, depending on their operations.

"These changes do not in any way affect negatively the employment opportunities for the coloured and/or Indian population.

"In fact, it makes it easier for employers to comply with the law and create more job opportunities for all the designated groups," Zuma said.

"We have a duty to work together in both the private and public sectors to ensure that employment equity legislation succeeds to correct the wrongs of the past and benefits Africans, coloureds, Indians, women, youth and persons with disability.

"Members of the public will have an opportunity to make representations to parliament at the right time," Zuma said.

Government remains fully committed to the equality clauses in the constitution, and the state will not discriminate against anybody on the basis of colour, race, religion and other aspects of diversity.

The demographic profile of the economically active population in the Western Cape, as published by Statistics SA in the Labour Force Survey of September 2009, referred to people from 15 to 64 years old who were employed as well as those who were unemployed but seeking work. It reflected that coloured citizens at 14.3% were grossly under-represented at the top management level.

The 10th Commission on Employment Equity Report released by the labour department in July 2010 also shewed that transformation in the workplace remains very slow.

The report indicated that 10 years after the introduction of the act, white men continued to hold 63% of top management positions in the private sector.


  • rightguard - 2011-03-07 17:50

    This article confirmed what some of us has been saying all along.Solidarity and the DA were relying on badly drafted legislation to score political votes at the ballot box with the help of some anti-ANC newspapers like City Press,Independent newspapers(the whole lot),Sunday Times,etc.As well as electronic media such as e-tv,702 and Cape Talk.

  • GetitRight - 2011-03-07 17:56

    Thank your Mr. President. We are still calling for the FIRING of ONE JIMMY MANYI and for the proposed amendments to be STOPPED. If the intent is to ensure that Coloureds get more management positions in the Western Cape then it would be appropriate to amend legislation in a more suitable way and not to introduce more confusion into the interpretation of the BILL. We just do not ACCEPT THOSE AMENDMENTS as they are plain mischief making by one JIMMY MANYI.

  • Madelane - 2011-03-07 18:37

    Perhaps it is time Zuma explained the constitution to his cabinet and the ANCYL in regard racism etc as they do not seem to understand what it all means. Perhaps the detail interferes with their sushi parties.

  • Johan - 2011-03-07 18:38

    "Government remains fully committed to the equality clauses in the constitution, and the state will not discriminate against anybody on the basis of colour, race, religion and other aspects of diversity." - accept if your white I see...

  • Goddok - 2011-03-07 19:14

    Who does he think he is fooling. This is racist legislation intended to even further marginalise the coloureds who got the bad end of the Sh*t stick in the new South Africa. Everybody always talk of the private sector when talking about equity. The government sector looks terrible in terms of equity when we look at the management positions that Coloureds are holding versus Blacks. No Coloured person with dignity would alighn himself/herself with someone that intend to screw them. The legislation reminds me of the group areas act. The net result will be a breakdown of families due to Coloureds forced to become migrant workers. This will force Coloureds to become slaves again. Agree with Min Manuel that this is racism worthy of Verwoerd.

  • Geyser - 2011-03-07 19:53

    About time Black, Coloured and Indian are given higher management positions in the private sector. Whites should not have more than 8% top management positions.

  • mohan - 2011-03-07 20:04

    We can improve job opportunities and thus the economy if we can implement this bill in toto AND OF COURSE taking into consideration all races of the rainbow nation. Thanks Mr. President for your bold initiative.

  • Paulds - 2011-03-07 20:31

    Does being unemployed count as ecconomically active when compared to say a pensioner ?

  • Siouxchief - 2011-03-07 20:44

    Surely the Employment Equity Bill is in conflict with the Constitution, refer to paragraph 2:NON RACIAL ETHOS and FOUNDATIONS OF SOUTH AFRICA. Why then are whites discriminated against adversely when seeking employment or promotion? I exclude whites who are deployed by the anc and are card carrying members of the anc.

  • Crossed Sword - 2011-03-08 07:29

    Jacob Zuma has NEVER kept his word or been ethical, and will not in this instance either. Coloureds and indians and foreigners BEWARE - because your FORCED REMOVALS are already long in the planning stage and about to become a reality

  • peter - 2011-03-08 07:31

    How can we believe you??? The constitution was changed to discriminate against whites wasn't it? With mind thinks like Jimmy Manyi's in the cabinet anything can happen and wiil believe me. Watch out the browns, the blacks resent your work ethic.

  • Divi - 2011-03-08 08:24

    The future is particularly uncertain; with extreme views from the likes of Manyi & Co. It is unacceptable that such people can put this wonderful country into conflict over race once again.

  • LEIGH - 2011-03-08 08:48

    Nice to see that racism is alive and thriving under South Africa's non-racial dispensation ... perhaps if Government focussed more on creating an environment where skills and ability and doing a hard day's work count more than the colour of your skin, then contentious pieces of legislation like this won't be neccessary ...

  • JA - 2011-03-08 09:30


  • Peter7709 - 2011-05-25 13:44

    This saddens me!!! We need more flexibility and freedom to operate business' not a legislative quagmire. The secret to job creation is not BEE but rather an environment that encourages and nurtures entrepreneurial skills and personal development - None of which is possible when education is in the toilet and the barrier to entry is made larger with every legislative step. Create Business' Not laws

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