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Cayla Murray | 24 July 2023

These will exacerbate existing gender disparities with virtually every sector setting higher targets for men.

The Democratic Alliance (DA) in the Western Cape is deeply concerned about the proposed Employment Equity Act Draft Regulations, particularly its potential negative impact on women in the province.

In response to a parliamentary question, the Provincial Department of Finance and Economic Opportunities outlined its concerns and put forth an alternative approach to address labour market disparities and inequality.

The Draft Regulations aim to give effect to Section 15A of the Employment Equity Amendment Act, and if implemented, will exacerbate existing gender disparities in the workforce, with virtually every sector setting higher targets for men than women.

Higher quotas for men across various sectors and occupational levels are troubling, because as labour force statistics show - women are more acutely affected by unemployment than men. According to the latest Quarterly Labour Force Survey, the unemployment rate amongst women is 4.7 percentage points higher than the male rate.

Such gender-biased targets will further marginalise women and hinder their access to employment opportunities, deepening inequality and making the labour market more unfair.

Instead, an evidence-based approach is essential to address the root causes of underrepresentation, rather than relying on ill-conceived numerical targets that could lead to unintended consequences.

Education and skills development are key factors in addressing labour market imbalances. By focusing on high-quality education and aligning curriculum with marketable skills, the party aims to provide better opportunities for women and all citizens to participate fully in the labour force and contribute to economic growth. We will continue to fight for exactly that.

That is why the Draft Regulations need to be withdrawn, and the Employment Equity Amendment Act needs to be repealed. There also needs to be a more comprehensive consultation process that includes all relevant stakeholders, especially women, to address inequality in the labour market.

As the DA, our policies are designed to foster economic growth, attract investment, and create an enabling environment for business while promoting equitable representation of vulnerable population groups in the workforce, including women.

The DA will on Wednesday 26 July be marching in protest in Cape Town against the ANC’s overly prescriptive Employment Equity regulations, and invites everyone who rejects the ANC government deciding where they can work, to join us and make their voices heard.

Issued by Cayla Murray, DA Western Cape Spokesperson on Finance, Economic Opportunities and Tourism, 24 July 2023

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


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