Race-based job ads not morally wrong - Woolworths

Company says it aims to be representative of the country within which it operates

Letter from Mark van Buuren, National Employee Relations Manager, Woolworths, to Dirk Hermann, Deputy General Secretary of Solidarity, September 5 2012

5 September 2012

P O Box 11760

Attention :  Mr Dirk Hermann

Dear Sir,


We refer to your letter dated 4 September 2012 addressed to Mr. Ian Moir and Mark van Buuren.

We do not intend addressing each and every allegation contained in that letter.  Our failure to do so should not be construed as an acceptance of the correctness of any of the allegations contained therein.  The company does, however, wish to respond as follows :

It confirms its media statements referred to in your letter and the correctness of those statements. 

As you are aware, the Employment Equity Act ("the EEA") places certain imperatives on employers to transform their workplaces.  Within the context of the aims and the purpose of the EEA, the company has put in place an Employment Equity Plan and a Recruitment Policy. 

There are certain areas of the company's business which, from a representivity point of view, do not meet the imperatives promoted in the EEA.  It is within this context that the adverts to which you refer have been placed.

The company is of the view that its business should meet the requirements in the EEA and should be representative of the country within which we operate.

In the circumstances, we dispute that our interpretation of the EEA is incorrect or that it is morally wrong.  We also dispute that the manner in which we approach recruitment enforces quotas.

In light of the above, we do not propose providing you with the undertakings you seek.  We note your intention to launch a full-scale campaign against Woolworths.  We are of the view that this is unwarranted and wrong.  Our rights are reserved.

The writer is quite happy to meet with you to discuss your concerns and the company's views and approach.

 (Letter from Woolworths: Mark van Buuren: National Employee Relations Manager)

Yours faithfully

Mark van Buuren

National Employee Relations Manager


Source: Solidarity, September 5 2012

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