ANC Western Cape cautions against law use
The ANC Western Cape reiterates its support to the recently amended Employment Act. The Act in its current format intends to continue to address the historical injustices of the past and to affirm our historically disadvantaged groups on the basis of race, gender and disability. This amended act gives impetus to both the letter and spirit of the constitution and the court judgements as it relates to the progressive realization of addressing the historical legacy of apartheid in the workplace. The letter and spirit of this act means that Africans, coloureds, Indians, women and the disabled must all benefit from affirmative action.
The ANC Western Cape notes that the draft regulations which have been designed to give impetus to the letter and spirit of the above mentioned amended act is now out for public comment.
The ANC Western Cape says broadly speaking we believe that these regulations do give practical meaning and guidance to the intention, spirit and letter of the constitution and its enabling legislation namely the Employment Equity Act as well as the recent court rulings on its implementation.
However we are deeply concerned with one section of the draft regulations which was recently highlighted in the media, relating to the national and regional demographics for organisations that employ 150 or more employees.
The ANC believes this section in its current draft form, which says that in these organisations national demographics should apply to top, senior and middle management structures, whilst regional demographics may apply in other lower levels, is inconsistent. It is in conflict with the spirit of the Constitution, Employment Equity Act and broader intention of the draft regulations read in its entirety together with court judgements.
The ANC believes that the drafters (bureaucrats) have not taken into account the unintended consequences of this section in the practical implementation as it relates to management positions. This is particularly so for two provinces (Western and Northern Cape) where a national minority group, namely the coloured population, is in fact a provincial majority.
The ANC Western Cape will be providing a submission to amend this section and correct this error of the draft regulations in order to ensure that the regulation in its entirety is consistent with both the letter and spirit of our constitution and enabling legislation in respect of employment equity and that all those historically disadvantaged by Apartheid (African, Coloured, Indian, women and those with disabilities) must be able to benefit from the corrective measures that are in place to correct the legacy of the past.
As the country enter election season it is noted once again that the DA in particular together with its right wing supporting organisations such as the FW De Klerk organisations are using "swart gevaar" (black threat) tactics in order to mobilise the national minorities and in particular the coloured population to fear the ANC and not vote for the ANC. Their latest alarmist statements on the draft regulations are the first salvos in this regard. The DA is already trying to create the perception that these draft regulations are in fact finalised and that the section relating to national and regional demographics discussed above is an ANC position. These same political parties and in particular the DA have since 1994 consistently run these "swart gevaar" campaigns in the run up to elections. These campaigns are entirely divisive, reckless and irresponsible as it has long term negative consequences for nation building, national reconciliation, social cohesion and racial integration amongst all communities.
Equally so this current "swart gevaar" campaign by the DA is again part of its politics of deception as it tries to hide its own appointment processes in the Western Cape over the past five years where many coloureds and African top, senior and middle managers was purged and or overlooked for promotion, as it implements its policy of Fit-For-Purpose which in reality means Wit-for-Purpose (white for purpose).
We call upon the DA and any other opposition parties who consistently engage in "swart gevaar" campaigns to - at the very least for this elections - refrain from using these tactics if not for democracy and nation building then at least as a tribute to the life and legacy President Mandela.
Statement issued by ANC Western Cape leader Marius Fransman, March 9 2014
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