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ANC SINKS TO NEW LOW: RACE QUOTAS BAN ‘COLOURED POPULATION GROUP’ FROM EMPLOYMENT IN SOME PROVINCES

John Steenhuisen MP | 15 May 2023


“The social perversion created by these targets constitute a clear and urgent threat to the social fabric of South Africa. The implication is that companies operating in certain parts of the country are banned from employing even a single coloured or Indian person in a particular position. If companies defy these regulations, they will be severely punished by being disqualified from government contracts or doing business with the state.” – John Steenhuisen MP


The DA is appalled by the draft Employment Equity Amendment Act (EEA) regulations published for comment over the weekend.


The regulations set out racial employment quotas across 18 economic sectors and across all 9 provinces, which will affect every part of the South African economy.


The regulations apply to all companies with more than 50 employees. They signal a new low for the ANC government, constituting a naked attempt to expand State control over the economy, deepen social divisions and ban certain communities from employment in particular sectors and parts of the country.


The quotas seem especially targeted at the groups defined by the regulations as “coloured males,” “coloured females,” “Indian males” and “Indian females.” People from these communities suffered discrimination under the previous regime, and now they are being re-victimised by a democratic government that has learnt all the wrong lessons from the past.


In sectors like agriculture, forestry and fisheries, mining and quarrying, manufacturing, finance, arts, and science, the “targets” set for coloured employees in provinces like Limpopo, Mpumalanga and North West is 0.0%, effectively banning these groups from employment. Even in Gauteng, the country’s economic heartland, employment by people classified by the State as coloured is sometimes limited to below 1%. In the case of employees classified by the State as Indian, the targets are often as low as 0.1% across economic sectors.


Consider the absurdity. A company with 50 employees that has even a single Indian person on the payroll will be in breach of the 0.1% limit, as 1 out of 50 is equal to 2% of that company’s total employees. Conversely, if that company fires its single Indian employee on the basis of race, it will also be in breach because it will then have 0% Indian employees.


The social perversion created by these targets constitute a clear and urgent threat to the social fabric of South Africa. The implication is that companies operating in certain parts of the country are banned from employing even a single coloured or Indian person in a particular position. If companies defy these regulations, they will be severely punished by being disqualified from government contracts or doing business with the state.


For the ANC, Limpopo, Mpumalanga, North West and even certain sectors in Gauteng are now “no-go zones” for coloured and Indian South Africans seeking employment.


Just as perverse is the implication of these quotas for black employees. In the Northern Cape, for example, employment of “black females” at private firms is limited to below 15.8%. Consequently, a company in Kimberley that happens to employ more skilled black women than the quota allows will also be punished and excluded from government contracts.


The DA maintains that the EEA is the most dangerous piece of racial engineering our country has seen since the dawn of democracy. Its effect will be to stunt social mobility and increase division as workers from certain communities are discouraged from moving to “no-go zones” where they are not welcome. Far from promoting equality, the EEA will deepen division and further fragment our country into groups of insiders and outsiders.


As we have already witnesses with the rise of Procurement Mafias, once the ANC starts publishing lists of companies that are “non-compliant” with the racial quotas, we are likely to see the emergence of employment mafias pushing for the hiring of the “right” connected ANC cadres into vacant positions.


The economic costs of this discrimination will be severe at a time our country can hardly afford it. The State should not be getting in the way of business given the already unacceptable official unemployment rate of 32.7%, and the expanded rate of 42.6%.


Unemployment will increase under these new regulations because companies that have vacancies will be precluded from hiring employees if they cannot find a candidate from the “right” background, with knock-on effects throughout the economy.


These EEA regulations serve as a clear warning to South Africans that it is time to vote out the ANC and its proxies, like the Patriotic Alliance, which has returned the ANC to government across the country.


In contrast, the DA is already preparing to challenge these racial quotas all the way to the highest court in this country. It is only by creating a non-racial society where every person enjoys equal opportunities to be judged on the basis of skill and merit, that we will be able to build a better future.


We urge every person, business owner and employee to submit their objection to the proposed regulations to

  • innocent.makwarela@labour.gov.za;

  • christina.lehlokoa@labour.gov.za; and

  • julian.mohale@labour.gov.za.


Additionally, please cc in legislation@da.org.za into your objection so that we can ensure that your voice is heard.


‘Disclaimer - The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the BEE CHAMBER’.



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