Manyi wanted Coloureds to move out WCape - Solidarity

Union posts video clip of former Labour DG complaining of minority overconcentration in province

Western Cape has "over-concentration" of coloured people, says Manyi

The trade union Solidarity posted a video of an interview with Jimmy Manyi, former director-general of labour and present government spokesperson, where he says there is an over-supply of coloured people in the Western Cape, on YouTube today. According to Manyi, the over-supply of coloureds in the Western Cape doesn't work for them. In the video he states that coloured people should "spread in the rest of the country" and "stop this over-concentration situation" in the province. He says the rest of the country should be looked at to see where there is a demand for coloured workers.

This interview with Manyi was broadcast on KykNet's Robinson Regstreeks in March 2010 while he was still the director-general of labour.

Unless the government repudiates Manyi's statements and withdraws the proposed amendment to labour legislation, these remarks will continue to be regarded as the government's official standpoint.

The proposed change to the Employment Equity Act (EEA), in terms of which national demographics and not regional demographics in provinces must be taken into account, corresponds with Manyi's views. The amendment makes provision for a large-scale social engineering programme according to which the entire country must be an exact replica of the national demographics.

According to Beeld, Manyi also told the Steel and Engineering Industries Federation of South Africa on 12 May 2010 that absolute representation is the only measure for employment equity.

The proposed amendment to the EEA is therefore not ambiguous. In fact, the amendment is a clear reflection of the effect of Manyi's ideological framework of representation and is not an inadvertent mistake.

Solidarity announced on Sunday that if the proposed amendment to the EEA is implemented to the letter, close to 80%, that is, about one million, of all economically active coloured people in the Western Cape will be over-represented. In addition, if the amendment is adopted, more than 300 000 Indians in KwaZulu-Natal will be over-represented.

"What we did with the figures was to point out the absurd consequences of the ideology of absolute representation. The ideology is now contained in a proposed amendment to legislation. We propose that the proposed change be withdrawn immediately," explains Dr Dirk Hermann, deputy general secretary of Solidarity.

Meanwhile, Solidarity also stresses that the problem with the bill is not limited to the removal of the regional demographic profile of the economically active population. In terms of the current legislation, present and future financial and economic factors can be taken into account in determining whether an employer complies with the EEA. The availability of qualified persons can also be taken into account. The new act does not make provision for these factors.

Statement issued by Dirk Hermann, Deputy general secretary: Solidarity, February 24 2011

Click here to sign up to receive our free daily headline email newsletter