Over 20 000 sign petition against Employment Equity amendment
19 April 2022
Over 20 000 South Africans have signed the petition calling on President Cyril Ramaphosa to veto the Employment Equity Amendment Bill (EEB), which IRR analysts warn will risk pushing unemployment above 50% on the expanded definition.
The EEB is the primary example of “more aggressive” BEE identified by Employment and Labour Minister Thulas Nxesi, nominally “to expedite transformation in the workplace”. However good the intention behind this policy might be, it will have the opposite effect of helping unemployed South Africans find a chance to add value.
If adopted, the EEB would allow Minister Nxesi to impose public sector race quotas – which have sometimes implied that it is better to leave a job vacant for years than to hire a white person – on the private sector. This would be enforceable by multimillion rand fines.
The EEB would also force employers to “pencil test” their own staff while reinstating racial pre-qualification criteria for tenders, meaning businesses are not allowed to name their price in a bid to government based on race. Racial pre-qualification criteria were recently invalidated in court.