Labour department spells out equity proposals

2011-03-02 13:39

The labour department today again strongly criticised trade union Solidarity for its claim that proposed amendments to the Equity Act could, if adopted, cost over a million coloured workers in the Western Cape their jobs.

Briefing members of Parliament’s labour and public enterprises select committee on provisions of the Employment Equity Amendment Bill, the department’s chief director of labour relations Thembinkosi Mkalipi also suggested newspaper reporting on the matter was untrue.

“There’s nothing [in the legislative proposal] that says coloured and Indian people in the Western Cape will lose their jobs. In fact... it gives flexibility to employers; it’s their call, they’ll have to decide what demographic they use.

“Nowhere in that proposal is there [mention of] removing regional [demographics] and leaving national behind. The statement by Solidarity is a lie.

It’s not true,” he said.

The “demographics” referred to are the relative representation of so-called coloured workers in both the national and Western Cape work force, which, Mkalipi said, were 11.3% and 51.8% respectively.

Last month, Solidarity claimed that enforcing equity targets in terms of the national figure, rather than the regional, would cause massive unemployment among coloured workers in the province.

Mkalipi said while there appeared to be confusion about this matter, the department was in fact proposing “to remove both regional and national” figures.

He said employers in the province would be free to choose what demographic they wanted to use.

“If they’re able to justify the fairness of that, they might be able to say: ‘We are a company that is based only in the Western Cape; we believe to look at 52% is fair.’

“We’re giving the labour market flexibility... but we’re under attack.”

The department had made numerous attempts to explain its proposals, but unfortunately “the truth does not sell newspapers”.

Mkalipi called on the media – journalists at today’s briefing heavily outnumbered the five committee members present – to publish a correct explanation of the proposed amendments.

“There is nowhere in the amendment, in the bill, nowhere, that we are taking away regional [demographics] and leaving national.

Nowhere.

“There is nowhere in this bill that it will cause unemployment of 1.3 million people in the Western Cape,” he said.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.