DA files papers to declare Race Quotas Act unconstitutional – John Steenhuisen

DA leader says EEA blatantly violates the constitutional principle of non-racialism

DA files papers to declare Race Quotas Act unconstitutional

15 June 2023

The Democratic Alliance (DA) has filed papers in the North Gauteng High Court yesterday to launch a constitutional challenge against the blatant social engineering and harmful racial categorisation contained within the most recent regulations introduced under the Employment Equity Act (EEA).

This latest batch of regulations has turned the EEA into a Race Quotas Act which threatens the very social fabric of South African society by replicating apartheid-era race quotas in the labour market under the guise of employment equity parroted by the ANC.

The DA will seek a court order declaring, among others, the latest EEA regulations an unconstitutional violation of Section 9 of the Constitution and, even if not properly characterised as a quota power, a blunt and entirely disproportionate restitutionary scheme that does not meet the requirements of section 9(2) of the Constitution, and which constitutes unfair discrimination in terms of section 9(3) thereof.

The EEA’s race quotas would seek to, among others, set particular demographic compositions that designated employers must achieve, on pain of severe penalties - including the inability to do business with the state, the cancellation of existing state contracts, compelling orders, and fines. Designated employers would include every private-sector employer employing 50 or more people, every municipality, and almost every organ of state.

In essence, the EEA blatantly violates the constitutional principle of non-racialism, favouring a harmful policy of selective and exclusive employment which infringes upon the constitutional rights of South African citizens, and contradicts the core values of equality and freedom in trade, occupation, and profession. Furthermore, the most recent regulations disregard the original EEA's explicit prohibition on quotas, essentially violating a core tenet of the Act itself.

The ANC's Race Quota Act is strongly anti-growth and yet another of the ANC’s brakes on economic growth that will ultimately hit poor South Africans the hardest by deterring investment and accelerating skills flight.

This draconian law seeks to employ sinister racial division for ANC political gain. South Africa did not leave the ashes of our divisive and oppressive past in the graveyard of history only for the ANC to dig them up and serve them to the electorate as a desperate election ploy.

The DA will fight the latest EEA regulations tooth and nail so that we can truly realise the dream of a united and equal opportunity South Africa.

We will not allow the ANC to use the apartheid playbook to cling to power when they know their days are now numbered. It is time to unite South Africans to vote the divisive ANC out in 2024.

Issued by John Steenhuisen, Leader of the Democratic Alliance, 15 June 2023