Race-based employment targets on its way

Amendments to the Employment Equity Bill will enable minister to set targets for every industry.
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It will be interesting to see how businesses will react to some of the proposed amendments to the Employment Equity Act, which was to be tabled in the new parliamentary session before the coronavirus pandemic disrupted the parliamentary schedule.

One of the major changes in the proposed amendments to the act will enable the minister of labour to set specific numeral targets – based on skin colour – for different industries, sub-sectors and levels within a company. If companies don’t comply and don’t head warnings to comply, they can be fined up to R1.5 million or 2% of their annual turnover, whichever is greater.

A discussion paper on the Employment Equity Act Amendment Bill (EEAB) by Dhevarsha Ramjettan, partner at Webber Wentzel, and colleagues professional support lawyer Shane Johnson and associate Mbali Nkosi, says that the amendment bill follows the last report by the Commission for Employment Equity which revealed that top management, senior management and professional employee groups continue to be dominated by the white male population group across organisations in SA.

They noted that the report indicated that there has been some progress in making the workplace more diverse and representative. “However, massive discrepancies still remain particularly in senior positions” according to the authors.

The EEAB will empower the minister to set numerical targets for any national economic sector. The main goal of such target setting is to ensure the equitable representation of suitably qualified people from designated groups at all occupational levels in the workplace, says the paper.

The authors of the paper confirmed to Moneyweb that these numerical targets will apply to all occupational levels in the workforce, including directors of a company “who form part of the workforce”.

There are six occupational levels that employers must report on in their employment equity plan:

1) Top management

2) Senior management

3) Professionally qualified & experienced specialists or mid-management

4) Skilled technical & academically qualified junior management, supervisors, foremen or superintendents

5) Semi-skilled employees

6) Unskilled workers.

The department of labour gazetted the EEAB towards the end of July and the bill will be formally introduced in the National Assembly in due course. It is still subject to change and will only become effective once it had been dealt with in parliament and finally signed into law by the president.

It seems that the bill will give labour inspectors a lot of authority to demand employers to furnish employment equity plans or undertakings to furnish such plans within a specific time frame. Labour inspectors will have similar powers when it comes to policing the new racial quotas.

“Where an employer fails to comply with the numerical targets as set out in its employment equity plan, a labour inspector can request the employer to provide a written undertaking to comply within a specific time period,” says Webber Wentzel in reply to questions. “If the employer refuses to provide the written undertaking or fails to comply within the specified time period, the labour inspector can issue the employer with a compliance order which will detail a time frame for compliance and the fines that may be recommended to the Labour Court.

“If the employer still does not comply, the labour inspector can apply to the Labour Court to make the compliance order an order of court. For a first time contravention, fines can amount to R1,5 million or 2% of the employer’s turnover (whichever is greater),” according to the law firm’s review of the pending legislation.

The proposed amendments introduce a bit of relaxation of regulations for smaller businesses. The EEAB amends the definition of ‘designated employer’ by excluding employers who employ less than 50 employees and meet a turnover threshold set under the act. Such employers will not be subject to the numerical targets set under the EEA.

The purpose of these amendments, says the lawyers from Webber Wentzel, is to reduce the regulatory burden on smaller businesses.

A discussion of the EEAB on the Labournet site is harsher about some of the amendments, defining the numerical targets as “a headcount target”. It says that the amendments suggest that employers will no longer be setting their own targets in line with the economically active population as it is believed that employers are using self-imposed targets as a “shield” to evade the law by setting low targets and achieving it quickly.

It also notes that a subsection in the new legislation will allow the minister of labour to issue regulations prescribing criteria to be considered when determining a numeral target. “The minister of labour thus sets the bar for how stringent or radically transformative these targets are, and dispenses judgement on whether they were achieved or not.”

Labournet points out that the EEAB is set to promulgate a section regarding state contracts, proposing that state contracts will only be awarded to employers who have been certified as being compliant with the act. “An employer will be required to attach a certificate of compliance and/or a declaration by the employer that it complies with the relevant chapters of the act when applying for a contract with the state.

“A brand new subsection has been included which regulates when the minister may issue a certificate of compliance,” according to the review of the bill on Labournet. These criteria includes that employers meet their racial targets and that they have not failed to pay minimum wages during the last three years.

When government announced end February that the bill will start the parliamentary process soon, the SA Government News Agency voiced the opinions of Thembinkosi Mkhaliphi, chief director of labour relations at the department of labour, saying that “nothing has happened that should have happened and no real significant change has taken place” over the last 21 years.

“There has been very limited change and if we go at the rate that we’re going, it will take another 100 years before we really transform,” he said.

Mkhaliphi dismissed criticism that government setting targets will affect businesses. He maintains that current legislation states that employers can set their own targets and that the introduction of government setting the targets is not new.

“Target setting is not new, except that now government comes into the picture in setting the target. The principle of setting targets is not new, therefore it can’t be said that this is a drastic change that will affect business” he said according to the government news agency.

Business is bound to disagree strongly, voicing concerns that freedom of choice to employ people will be restricted, in much the same way as economic empowerment legislation forces companies to invite shareholders into a business, based on race rather than on their ability to supply capital.

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Now it is clear that we are really hell bent on destroying our own economy. As if the failures in quotas at SAA, Eskom, government and the municipalities haven’t taught us anything.

Legalised reverse apartheid and the world sits by idly and does nothing…….

The World owes us nothing. Why would they help a minority of previously advantaged folk sitting in terror for their lives and livelihood at the bottom of a place called Africa.

South Africans who feel that they are being prejudiced can vote against the government( ineffective a a minority) leave( difficult and expensive) or do what the Israelis did(and keep doing) and accept that bloodshed is the price of freedom.

SAM The Taxman
Why wouldn’t they? They did during Apartheid and what we have now is just as evil.

By ‘reverse apartheid’ you mean you are afraid that when the playing field is made fair, you will find it difficult to continue to benefit from the years of cumulative advantage bestowed on whites by apartheid for no reason other than the fact that they had less melanin. Not a single black person is asking for preferrential treatment, or unfair advantage, all people are saying: level the playing field and equal access to the opportunities. And then while you are at it, get off our backs and sucking the labour of people for peanuts.

Current labour arrangements are almost legalized enslavement of people. With salaries that can’t even buy a bag of Epol for a dog for a week, that is what you call honourable existence? Most rich people’s dogs eat better quality food, and more expensive food for that matter than nearly half of the people in the country because the same rich people would presumably ‘die’ if they paid more for the very ‘work’ and ‘labour’ that the same poor people (their fellow humans)pour into the businesses that these ‘rich’ people ‘own’. And that is supposed to be fair? Let’s have a fair playing field, we have shown that even with the in-built disadvantages that apartheid had, we can go a long way, without obstacles, and a playing field, we should be just fine. There is no reverse apartheid here, go take a walk.

How do you spell meritocracy? Never mind it must be racist anyway.

@BageSuge
There is a huge difference between:
– a fair playing field, which is mostly unregulated.
– actively race-based discrimination by means of regulation.

ANC are hellbent on destroying any Successful White owned business as it Shows up the utter Inefficiency of all black run Municipalities etc.
A level playing Field is being created , the problem is that its 6 foot down !!!

Government shouldn’t hold back…they steal 100% and are corrupt 100%. Make it all black from CEO to the tea lady. Do it to rugby, cricket and all sporting codes. Dont hold back. As an experiment this would be interesting …I’ll watch via zoom from overseas. Send me the passcode.

Agreed. Don’t fiddle around, go 100% Black with everything and let’s see where the bones fall.

Only a lazy people implement laws to enforce employment before skill

They keep throwing the in-balance narrative at the argument yet

Walk into a Municipality
A take away business
Government Depts
Most SOE’s

and you will find the so called bill is a joke as most previously disadvantaged employees in the above entities constitutes at least 80% of the work force

It is the business owner/director and company they’re after.They’ll do this at any cost..we have seen them at play during the Lockdown..Having all but destroyed the economy with massive job losses..Ruthless is an understatement

We’re the only country in the world where the minority is a threat to a ruling majority

The bottom line is they are targeting the minorities, to eventually cleanse the work force of the “previously advantaged”

They must not abolish BEE (reverse Apartheid) It has forced the minority to become creative, entrepreneurs and self employed

Ever wondered why every Parastatal is insolvent?

They got rid of the skill and experience at a huge cost..Financially, to the economy, resulting n huge lay offs

Think the ANC care? The communists will do and say anything to woo their voters at the expense of jobs and the country
SA, just another failed African country!

The ANC should read some of the work published by Thomas Sowell, then come back and revise their stance.

Whahahaaahahaaaaaa!!!!!!!!!!!

So this is the plan to fix the economy? Take it who it comes from.

Your opening line is spot on…

Would love to hell this at the idiots of government when it doest not yield expected results and all you hear from them..is

Wahhhh, wahhhhh, boohoo

This exact recipe was used to “transform” the SOEs; the results are there for all to see today….

More & more “jobs” will be mechanised, computerised, outsourced. What government presents to potential employers by way of potential employees is not acceptable.

The NBA in the US is dominated by Black males , sultry the NBA is racist !!!

Or maybe the black males in the Us are just taller , more athletic and better basket ball players.

Thinking that demographic should be represented in all aspects of life is the biggest BS of our generation.

NFL and NBA have the best players in the world period. Nobody is making any favours or preferrential treatment for these athletes in the NBA or NFL, they are from head to toe better than anybody else anywhere in the world at what they do. That is why they are in the NBA.Have you been to any parts of the US and seen how many hours young people pour into practing, the skill level is just mindboggling. Its not just a cake walk for any of these athletes, and there are hundreds of thousands who don’t make it. So, to say that NBA is ‘dominated’ by Black males is not accurate, these crafts men are good at what they do. There is no evidence in the corporate world that the same standard of merit is applied. It is accumulated privelege and associative marriages and promotions. Some people don’t even have the education to match!!! This is ridiculous. You want merit, merit is not only monochrome and a preserve of people with less melanin.

And how wrong you are. Success in the NBA being measured by performance, endorsements and player worth, the metrics in the corporate world are well-established, all measured in capital. And look at all that glorious capital being created by the teams of corporate employees, driven by management and executives. Of a paler shade, according to your accusation?

Would you like to have another go at the argument?

@BageSuge

Firstly you completely misunderstood orcale argument, hde is saying exactly what you are saying – everything should be merit based, his racist comment was meant ironically.

Secondly. How many successful black owned businesses have been created in SA post 1994? Surely if there were more black owned businesses then possible discrimination will fall by the wayside? Historically Afrikaners were subject to the same if not worse discrimination by a corporate sector dominated by English speakers. I will be surprised if you could name many if any Afrikaners that were represented in the top management of the old corporate elite of Aglo American, SAB Miller, Old Mutual, the banks excl the old Volkskas. The Afrikaner initially sought refuge in the public sector and focussed on creating a nAtionalist mythology, where the Afrikaner was a paragon of virtue and that there was some evil conspiracy by Jews/Blacks/the Brits/Illuminati against it. The government was called upon to provide craddle to grave care for the Afrikaner, work on the railways/Eskom/Sasol, generous farmers subsidies etc provided massive support and indeed did uplift the Afrikaner, but it also constricted the need for any entrepreneurial spirit.

Then 1994 came and all of a sudden most Afrikaners did not have the luxury of wallowing in self pity anymore and were forced to roll up their sleeves and start building businesses themselves. Schools and for a while universities also had to move away from having the cristian nationalist claptrap at the root of its curriculum to actually competing with English schools academically, to the extent that the top performers in matric exams are now invariably Afrikaners. It is no surprise that most corporate success stories in SA post 1994 were Afrikaner owned, from the situation pre 1994 when only really the Ruperts were a major Afrikaner entrepreneurial success story you now have so many examples that the English media had to come up with their racist “Stellenbosch Mafia” trope – no different than the continuing trope that Jews are successful due to some grand conspiracy.

What is the point of my ramblings? The Afrikaner ironically only became economically successful once it lost political power. Constantly moaning about past injustices, actual and perceived will get you knowhere, it helped us diddly squat. Creating the mythology that black people are always virtuos and that all the ills that may have befallen black people are due to conspiracies will get you nowhere. Yes the world is unfair and full of injustice. Is every business success story solely the result of hard work, no of course not, most of it is down to being at the right place at the right time – but you need to be positioned to take advantage of luck. Vast majority of the black elite/intelligensia are not focussed on creating businesseses. And why should they be. Much easier opportunites to earn a very decent living are available in government, academia or servicing government procurement needs.

The longer you remain stuck in the past the longer it will take to achieve equality. Pre-94 the avg Afrikaner income was 60% of the avg white English speaker. Today that is 90%…achieved without political power and without constantly moaning about the Boer war and discrimination. Coincidence?

The oracle of RSA
Exactly. By the ANC’s reasoning, the racial demographics of the NBA are out of proportion to that of the country – yes, I know it is an international arena but so is the workplace. Hence, Black players are not there on merit but only because the sport has not transformed towards racial representation. Hence, quotas for White players must happen. That’s the ANC’s view of the world. Surely they cannot be hypocrites and suggest there are more Blacks in the NBA because they are better basketball players.

What a majestic world we live in.

This minister pipes up once a year with the same drivel.

SMMEs should be exempt from this to drive growth. In a small business you need to best candidate possible.

These suggestions based on race are absolute and complete rubbish. ‘Merit’ is what counts in any job, not skin colour. This artificial race-based engineering smacks of the worst of Nazi policies. If a man can’t do a job, he shouldn’t have it. If he can, he should have it. Simple.

No prices for guessing that a lot of bigger firms will be cut up in entity’s >50 employee’s

I totally agree. It is similar to one of the cities (I think Jo’burg) that announced complexes with 20 or more units have to have a certain amount of affordable housing built. Net result is many 19 unit complexes.

I remember when they said that. I wondered then and still do who did they imagine would be stupid enough to buy one of the 20?

Nobody actually likes or wants to subsidize free riders, that includes black and white people.

BEE hasn’t worked for the last 25 years, clamping down is only going to hurt the economy more. Employment needs to be created, not funneled and stifled in the existing employers.

Those that can can start a business and generate employment, will think twice because of the even more stringent BEE requirements to stay in business.

Instead of making it easy to start a business, the government is making it more difficult.

Before we start, will they first bring back the population register?

There is presently in SA law no legal definition of white, black, colored, indian, etc.

They’ll bring back the pencil test.

Viva ANC!

Siya Kolisi have two sons. One is af dark complexion and the other resembles his wife and is white with blond hair etc. Will the one benefit with this proposed legislation and the other be handicapped? The NP tried this and it didn’t work. Same will happen to this curse of a government

I remember a man more famous than ANY African leader who said
“Judge a man not by the color of his skin, but by the content of his character.” — Martin Luther King Jr.

Does government believe that business owners (of whatever persuasion), actively avoid hiring black south acricans??? That is one of their goals in life, a key performance measurement? There may well be a few neanderthal people like that, but good business is about hiring the best you can find. If half the best candidates are black, half the new hires will be black, it is as simple as that.

Staff turnover and company growth also comes into this. If you were an engineering firm doing design, consult and implementation projects with 75 staff in 1990 you probably are still about 75 staff and probably mostly the same staff. Nobody is going to dismiss five of their ten white experienced designers to replace them with black designers because the minister said so. Far easier to downscale to 45 people being the owner and only the design & consult team and then either stop doing projects or sub-contract this with other companies.

Will these requirements apply equally to foreign owned companies or branches of those?

If i can now identify as a non binary gender i guess i can also identify as a non binary race.

You are sexist and racist if you disagree with me, i dont care what your facts say. (Liberal Drivel might actually help us white males)

Ah so what the government wants to do is bring every functioning business down to the same level to the phenomenally well run SoE’s in the country – I wonder if there is any intelligent life form within government – if there is it is brilliantly well hidden

The term “Snowflake” comes to mind here. The first reality was that they could not pass matric, without melting in the heat, so they lowered the pass rate to just 30% and still many could not make it. Then they introduced racially discriminatory laws to force the issue which in many instances “created” so much more employment for these snowflakes because it took sometimes three or more to do the job previously done by just one. Still, our productivity went South and many jobs have been lost due to the government, for reasons of political expediency, preferring to ignore the elephant in the room as businesses closed down or went elsewhere.

Social engineering, such as this, was and always will be doomed to failure because success comes from the school of hard knocks, not favouritism. A chain is as strong as the weakest link and once it’s broken can’t be fixed by adding a few more weak links to it.

The ANC will double down on everything that hasnt worked.
Its the natural instinct of a socialist one-party looting machine.
Its not in their nature to self-reflect critically, an essential igredient for reform.

good luck to them! don’t know how they will achieve this when there is…well, no jobs to force these people into.

Equality of opportunity – great.
Equality of outcomes – disaster.

No one is equal, and there is no such thing as equality.

We are all different, all have different skills and expectations.

Will the janitor in Parliament be given a turn at President, or will Cyril or Ace clean toilets for a day to equal things out. Start there before we pay the janitor R1.5 million a year.

Pwgg you are now arguing like a rational and intelligent person. The ANC doesn’t work that way.

“I cannot possibly understand how fraternity can be legally enforced without liberty being legally destroyed…” ― Frédéric Bastiat, The Law

“But how is this legal plunder to be identified? Quite simply. See if the law takes from some persons what belongs to them and gives it to other persons to whom it does not belong. See if the law benefits one citizen at the expense of another by doing what the citizen himself cannot do without committing a crime.”
― Frederic Bastiat, The Law

My company will happily pay the R1.5 million fine to be able to employ who they want, because it is more profitable and less irritable managing previously disadvantage workers and unions. Imagine a tight knit small team of workers, doing more, than we have to look after or fix the work done by the others. Lol.

True story … the amount of energy, training etc and then need to end up doing the work … FFS

Honest free enterprise being strangled while dishonest enterprise flourishes.

1987 headline – Race-based employment

OK. Let’s just respectfully request the minister then to set similar targets then for the population (according to race, gender, whatever) to ensure they train themselves and obtain the qualifications and experience in accordance with the positions and its allocations to race etc to be available to fill these positions when industry requires them.

“The rights of the people shall be the same, regardless of race, colour or sex”

The Freedom Charter, Kliptown, 1955.

errrr …. is this going to be ammended first? Just asking?

I hate sounding like that rob in Sydney guy, but this is why I left.

I’m sure I’m not really missed or anything, but I couldn’t work for a manager and upper management who would cry under pressure situations and type with two fingers. All while driving top of the range BMW’s. And this was private sector!

All they’re doing is labeling employees as quotas. Alienating them more from their peers.

Hahahaaaaaa…..Imagine reporting to such people. One recalls some managers who only had standard 7 and would not “waste time on computers”. Often they have been in these companies for years. But of course they have “experience” not the “useless degrees”!

People should be employed based on their skill and not their skin!

Yet another trick to give the masses false hope – while it will only make them poorer.

Most of the articles I read are talking about the poor state of the economy and the need to create employment etc. SO what does the government do they promulgate a law that will devastate the economy and employment. The law is based upon biased statistics.

I’d like to know how they will be enforcing this.

If you self nominate your race presently.

There’s no law that I’m aware of that says black is a skin colour in SA. If you look on the BEE company declaration form how they define black it’s words* not DNA or observational test.

By the “eye” I look* caucasian. By my ID it has no reference to my race or my designated group.

Now, if you were to genetically test me and all caucasian has this in their DNA you will find that our Ancestors are also AFRICAN. In fact the cradle of humanity originated in the tip of South Africa.

Genetically all ancestors trace back to the same region that the majority of humanity shares.

My black Ancestors came from Africa, did they lose claim on their lands and heritage just because their children became a bit more pale?

No?

Then technically all caucasian by “the eye” if “self identity as caucasian… Had claim to Africa just as much as anyone else. We’re not a seprate species.

Further more black in SA law is also defined that mix race to be included. As far as I know.

How far back is considered mixed race? Is race only self nominated or defined? By oneself, government of parents?

So far I only can tell its self nominated meaning self inflicted…

How can you actually say your race if you never done a test?

For all intents and purposes we’re all mixed race or other until such time there’s official race test.

Until such time I consider myself mixed race as my great ancestors were from Africa and black haha suck on that ANC.

Because that’s a proven FACT ask any University. In fact I can consider myself black too because over the genoration my ancestors became pale. But for all intents and purposes genetically my Ancestors were black.

I was born After apertheid so there is no race classification for me.

It was always on the cards since the new rainbow nation governors perpetuated the racial classification system that apartheid was notorious for. Only in South Africa has your race been so important to officialdom that you must declare it on every official form of identity. The color of your skin is always going to be vitally important to the constitutionally imposed ANC dictatorship so that the controlling racists can identify and exclude their perceived foe without having to look at them.

I challenge MW to rationally argue why they choose to not show my perfectly legitimate comment on the matter. I did not realize that the moderating of comments on the MW website has been handed over to the ANC.

Indeed … the MW moderators have become disciples of the marxist communist BLM movement … no criticism of blacks is tolerated by the Stalinist Moderators …

I have nothing but contempt for Ramaphosa and his henchmen.

End of comments.

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