Michael Bagraim | 28 May 2023
Michael Bagraim writes that the minister of employment and labour has sent out suggested regulations to be attached to the amendment to the employment equity legislation. The Employment Equity Amendment Act 4 of 2022 was signed by President Cyril Ramaphosa a few months back. Employment and Labour Minister Thulas Nxesi. File picture: GCIS
The minister of employment and labour has sent out suggested regulations to be attached to the amendment to the employment equity legislation. The Employment Equity Amendment Act 4 of 2022 was signed by President Cyril Ramaphosa a few months back.
To strictly and viciously enforce the amendments, the minister has populated the legislation with suggested vitriolic regulations.
Employment equity legislation is another means of social engineering similar to that employed by the Nationalist Party during apartheid. It is well known that the era of apartheid was destructive to society as a whole but particularly to the rights of certain individuals.
The historically disadvantaged individuals in South Africa, made up of blacks, coloureds and Indians, were so badly treated during apartheid that those affected are still suffering from the discrimination.
The education system was designed to subjugate those not benefiting from the apartheid social engineering. The educational system put people into the marketplace at the lowest level.
The whole structure of society was designed to subjugate the people and create a sub-class of individuals. The Nationalist government carefully structured and designed apartheid so that it would permeate throughout society and throughout the ages.
The pernicious system has had an enormous effect on the business community, thereby ensuring that many of the senior and managerial positions in the large corporations would be white and male.
A lot of the remnants of the system exist today.
In answer to this pernicious system, our forward-thinking magnificent Constitution called for the equality of the races and for equal rights for all. Our Constitution is revered throughout the world and is seen as a template for a system of good governance.
Unfortunately, over more than 20 years, our ANC-led government has taken some of the revered clauses in that Constitution and misinterpreted them to try to re-engineer the apartheid social engineering to reflect benefits for one group of people only. The idea was to move away from the definition of racial discrimination to equality among people, regardless of background and/or pigmentation.
It is ancient thinking to believe that people of different pigmentation would belong to different races. It is with a deep sense of sadness that the employment equity legislation was brought into being many years ago. The legislation was designed primarily to benefit people in accordance with their skin pigmentation.
It is a truism to say that the legislation has not worked, other than to benefit a small group of individuals who are either politically connected or are politicians themselves. The average worker has suffered greatly. We are experiencing 40% unemployment and horrific low productivity rates. Coupling the discriminatory legislation with low productivity rates means that many who were subjugated under apartheid are being subjugated today.
The government’s answer to the failure of the legislation was to try to pen amendments to it, which made it more stringent and more difficult to implement. The amendment allowed the minister to pen his own targets and quotas for each province and refer to many, many industries. The quotas have been printed for public comment.
Unfortunately, the minister is neither obliged to negotiate with the industries nor take into account the commentary from the public. My experience has shown me that commentary is there as window dressing. In the past, the ministry has proposed regulations and gone ahead and implemented whatever it felt like doing.
The regulations are so pernicious that in certain provinces and industries you won’t be able to employ coloured or Indian workers. The tables of targets have been published and are sickening. This is reminiscent of the worst excesses of apartheid.
Thankfully, there are those who are intending to take the ministry to the Constitutional Court if the minister persists with the hidebound quotas which appear to be set in stone. * Michael Bagraim.
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