Equity act changes ‘won’t affect coloureds, Indians’

2012-07-16 09:40

Changes to the Employment Equity Act should not result in coloured and Indian workers losing their jobs in some provinces.

The amendment bill, which has not yet been published, is believed to leave the present regulatory regime much the same, Business Day reported today.

The amendments still need to be presented to Cabinet for approval, but if approved would give the labour minister the power to produce regulations on the employment equity regulations.

According to the newspaper, this was after negotiations between business, labour, and the government on the proposed amendments to the act were finalised in the National Economic Development and Labour Council (Nedlac).

Last year trade union Solidarity said around one million coloured people could lose their jobs if amendments to the Employment Equity Act became law.

The amendment that concerned the union was that employment equity should be based on national demographics.

This would have meant that in the Western Cape coloureds could lose jobs, while Indians would have been affected in KwaZulu-Natal.

But the amendments do not significantly change the current situation, where employers can choose to use national or regional demographic statistics to calculate their employment equity targets.

In expressing its concern over the proposed amendments last year, Solidarity posted a video on YouTube of government spokesperson Jimmy Manyi, who was then the director general of labour, saying there was an “over-supply” of coloured people in the Western Cape.

He made the comment in March 2010.

Manyi later said he had been speaking in his capacity as Black Management Forum president.

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