COSATU welcomes the coming into effect of the Employment Equity Amendment Act today

The Employment Equity Amendment (EEA) Act provides badly needed interventions to strengthen government’s ability to hold employers accountable for their role and failures to adhere to the Employment Equity Act.  Key progressive provisions in the Act include:

  • Requiring employers to provide confirmation in their EE Annual Reports that they have paid all their workers at or above the National Minimum Wage.
  • Expanding the definition of disabilities to include intellectual and sensory impairments, a long overdue correction.
  • Empowering the Minister to set economic sectoral, sub-sectoral, regional, sub-regional and occupation specific targets; enabling more precise targets for sectors, occupations and regions that are notorious for their failures to reflect South Africa’s demographics.
  • Allowing for regional variations, which is critical given the diversity of South Africa’s population found in different provinces, .e.g. the demographics of the Western Cape differ vastly from Limpopo.
  • Requiring employers to consult trade unions on employment equity targets, and thus helping to foster a more inclusive approach to meeting targets and supporting collective bargaining.
  • Empowering labour inspectors to inspect and ensure compliance with the EE Act.
  • Empowering the Minister to issue compliance certificates to employers in good standing with the EE Act and to require such certificates for companies applying for government contracts.
    • This provision in particular is a welcome step forward requiring employers doing business with the state to be in compliance with labour laws and acting in a way that supports good labour practises.  Workers’ hard-earned taxes should not be used to reward abusive employers.

COSATU urges the Department of Employment and Labour to move with speed to ensure employers across all sectors comply with these long overdue provisions.  Organised Business must do its bit to ensure employers are aware of these new requirements.  COSATU will working with its Affiliates, endeavour to empower shop stewards and workers on this progressive Amendment Act.

We urge right wing organisations who thrive on hate mongering and stoking the fears of ordinary White, Coloured and Indian workers to resist the temptation to do so for once.  Our journey from a painful past of apartheid and institutionalized racism where African, Coloured and Indian South Africans were denied their fundamental rights is still felt.  The recent employment equity report showing that 29 years into democracy over 62% of senior management posts are held by White compatriots needs to be a wake-up call for all properly adjusted persons. 

Employment equity accommodates all South Africans irrespective of race, gender and disability; it simply compels employers to make progress to ensure their workplaces reflect our diversity.  No worker will lose their job because of employment equity. 

Issued by COSATU

For further information please contact:
Matthew Parks
Parliamentary Coordinator
Cell: 082 785 0687