AfriForum to oppose proposed amendment of Equality Act
12 April 2021
AfriForum has given its legal team instructions to prepare comprehensive commentary in reaction to the government’s proposed amendments to the Promotion of Equality and Prevention of Unfair Discrimination Act (generally known as PEPUDA or the Equality Act). The civil rights organisation will oppose these amendments, because it will broaden the definition of discrimination to such an extent that it could prevent the Act from being practically executable and even cause it to become irrelevant.
The proposed amendments to the Act aim to substantially expand the extent of the definitions of equality and discrimination, which could mean that the intent to discriminate will no longer be a requirement for someone to break the law. A further planned amendment is to include vicarious responsibility in regard to discrimination, which, amongst others, will mean that employers could be held responsible when an employee breaks the law, even when the employer was unaware of the discrimination or the employer didn’t discriminate intentfully.
Should the amendments be pushed through, it will also give the state enormous power to regulate non-governmental organisations, community organisations and traditional institutions.
Ernst Roets, Head of Policy and Action at AfriForum, says the prosposed amendments to the Act is a clear indication of the government’s distorted priorities. “The country is in a serious economic crisis, crime is out of control, the quality of education is among the worst in the world and corrupt government officials are continuing unabated. Despite all of this, the government’s still seems to prioritise the superfluous regulation of social issues, instead of addressing the real issues in the country,” says Roets.
Issued by Chanté Kelder, Media Relations Officer, AfriForum, 12 April 2021