Discrimination of all women, regardless ...

2017-06-27 06:00

I WISH to express my sympathy for Minister Blade Nzimande on the death of his mother.

However, he is mistaken in his belief that her employment was terminated on her marriage to Phillip Nzimande because she was black. This discriminatory ruling applied to all women employed in the public service in South Africa, regardless of race.

Until the mid-eighties, there were two salary scales for public service employees. One for men, one for women. The salary scale for women was two notches lower than that for men.

Married women could not be employed in the public service in a permanent capacity, consequently female employees who married were presumed to have resigned from the date of their marriage.

All married women teachers (and other women in the public service) were therefore employed in a temporary capacity. This meant they were not entitled to medical aid and housing benefits even if they were the main breadwinner in their family. These regulations were scrapped sometime in the early to mid-eighties, certainly for white employees. I am not sure if they were scrapped for employees of other race groups at the same time.

I don’t think it had anything to do with maternity leave, rather the belief that a married woman’s place is in the home, taking care of her husband and children.

GARETH THOMSON

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