18th Employment Equity Report Launched

Department of Labour

The labour minister, Mildred Oliphant, has drawn attention to the lack of progress in implementing the objectives of the Employment Equity Act.

The minister was speaking at the launch of the 18th Employment Equity Report in Tshwane.

The act was promulgated in 1998 and seeks to achieve equity in the workplace by promoting equal opportunity and fair treatment in employment by eliminating unfair discrimination and implementing affirmative action measures.

The minister alluded to the possibility of tightening up measures to ensure that employers submit employment equity plans and reports on implementation.

“Whilst the law takes a carrot approach to implementation, given the low levels of compliance, a stick approach may be justified going forward,” she said.

The minister also referred to the practice of budgeting for fines rather than implementing transformation.

“It is disturbing to note that there are still designated employers who would rather budget for fines and penalties than embracing transformation in the world of work. What they forget is that there
is a price to pay for not heeding the call for transformation, the call to address inequality in whatever form it presents itself.”

Last year, companies were inspected to ensure that they complied with requirements for the preparation of employment equity plans.

The minister indicated that the Employment Equity Commission has been working hard to “turn the culture of non-compliance around.”

“We are resolute about scaling up inspection and enforcement and targeting those areas that will give us the bigger impact,” she said.

Sabinet Cape Town Office