‘Harsh’ new law to enforce transformation in South Africa

Oct 11, 2019 | FYI's

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Staff Writer

The Commission for Employment Equity (CEE) expects the Amended Employment Equity (EE) Bill to be tabled in parliament before the end of October 2019.

In a statement on Wednesday (9 October), the CEE said that the bill will ‘further entrench and deepen transformation in the workplaces’.

CEE Chairperson, Tabea Kabinde said that the amended EE Bill would empower the Labour Minister to regulate sector-specific employment equity targets and make an EE compliance certificate as a prerequisite for accessing state contracts.

Responding to this week’s Labour Court judgement which reconfirms the Constitutionality and legality of employment equity and affirmative action, she said the ruling was a victory for transformation.

“Employers must continue to report and comply with EE law,” said Kabinde.

In August, Minister of Employment and Labour Thulas Nxesi has expressed concern at the slow pace of workplace transformation and has promised that government will now introduce ‘harsh measures’ to ensure transformation in South African workplaces.

He said that this will include the fast-tracking of amendments to the EE Act,

“Our intention is to resuscitate legislation that could not go through. We hope Parliament will prioritise the bills because their amendments were at (an) advanced stage,” he said.

Nxesi said that those who do not comply with the laws of the country must ‘face the music and be punished’.

“We are not just talking about a single solution, but a range of solutions to deal with problems in the economy and workplace”.


The CEE”s latest employment equity report, released at the end of August, showed that 65.6% of top management positions are occupied by white South Africans.

Black Africans occupied 76% of the positions in government and whites occupied 69.6% of the positions in the private sector.

The report shows that South Africa’s economically active population is broken down as follows:

  • Africans – 78.0%
  • Coloureds – 9.6%
  • Indians – 2.7%
  • Whites – 9.0%

Commission for Employment Equity chairperson, Tabea Kabinde, said that a broad level, the trends continue to paint a picture of a very slow, but steady pace of transformation, especially at the top four occupational levels.

“We expect that when employers are slow in transforming, worker activism will nudge the employers,” she said

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