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U-turn concerning AA encouraging – Anton Alberts


FF Plus MP trusts Minister Oliphant will adopt HRC's recommendations and make necessary changes

The sudden U-turn made by the Minister of Labour, Mildred Oliphant, with regard to the unconstitutionality of Affirmative Action (AA) is encouraging, but she must now show that she respects the findings of a Chapter Nine institution, in this case the Human Rights Commission (HRC).

Anton Alberts

As little as a few weeks ago, the Minister had a dismissive attitude towards the HRC's report with its findings that the implementation of the government's policy of AA is unconstitutional and that the government must take steps to change it.

Seeing as the HRC is a Chapter Nine institution just like the Public Protector (PP), which must be respected by the government and Parliament, Oliphant showed her contempt for the country's Constitution with her attitude and behaviour.

As little as three weeks ago, she said that the government is regularly having trouble with the HRC as the HRC is spreading doubt about the constitutionality of the Employment Equity Act. After that, the FF Plus requested the HRC to call the Minister to order and according to media reports, she has now instructed her Department to look into the HRC's findings.

The FF Plus trusts that the Minister will adopt the HRC's recommendations and will make the necessary changes so as to comply with the international prescripts for AA, particularly in sectors where the target for redress has already been met, like in the public service.

If the Minister does not take the necessary action, the FF Plus will make sure that the international community takes note of the South African government's violation of The International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD). Ignoring the HRC's findings will also constitute a violation of our Constitution.

Should the Minister decide to approach the court to have the HRC report set aside, her application must be opposed by all means possible. The Minister should rather see this as an opportunity to have justice prevail for all in South Africa and not just for the majority who is demographically dominant.

Issued by Anton Alberts, FF Plus chairperson and parliamentary spokesperson: Labour, 22 October 2018



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