Employment Equity Bill petition launched – IRR

Institute says EEAB is the latest example of the ANC govt doubling down on failed policies

IRR launches Employment Equity Bill petition

11 March 2022

The IRR has officially launched a petition calling on President Ramaphosa to veto the race-quota Employment Equity Amendment Bill (EEB) on the basis that it is unconstitutional.

The EEB will allow the Minister of Employment and Labour to “set numerical targets for any national economic sector”, including “targets for different occupational levels, sub-sectors or regions within a sector” to achieve “equitable representation” at “all occupational levels in the workforce”.

The EEB provides for punishing non-compliance with these race quotas through multimillion rand fines and the reintroduction of the same kind of pre-qualification race criteria recently struck down by the Constitutional Court. It should be noted that the EEB could allow for even more stringent race quotas than those recently struck down.

The EEB is the latest example of the government doubling down on failed policies. BEE policies have, over the last 15 years, entrenched crony-capitalist business practices, and increased the stakes of political connections, while the vast majority of South Africans have been trapped within the resulting no-growth framework. The EEB is another anti-poor race-law that will only exacerbate these trends and effects, as the IRR has warned MPs (See Submission to the Portfolio Committee on Employment and Labour, National Assembly, regarding the Employment Equity Amendment Bill of 2020 [B14-2020])
Next week, the IRR will host a media briefing (details below) to unpack the provisions and likely consequences of this draft legislation.

If the EEB becomes law, employers who refuse to racially classify their employees (or fail to fully comply with the law) face fines of up to R1.5 million, or 2% of annual turnover (whichever is the greater) for a first ‘offence’ of this kind. Penalties for repeat offences of this type may rise to as high as R2.7 million or 10% of annual turnover – again, whichever is the greater.

Most businesses would be bankrupted by fines of that size. And the bankrupting of every business as a result of the government’s social engineering has a multiplier effect, knocking other businesses in the supply-chain, and reducing employment, thereby reducing economic activity and investment, and increasing the tax burden on social care.

Against this background, the IRR calls on South Africans to sign our petition at https://irr.org.za/campaigns/stop-race-quotas, and take action against the pernicious and destructive EEB.

Issued by Gabriel Crouse, IRR Head of Campaigns, 11 March 2022