The draft Employment Equity regulations issued by the Department of Labour are in no way intended to disadvantage any of the designated groups, according to the Minister of Labour, Mrs Mildred Oliphant.
“Contrary to what some parties have claimed, the regulations were in fact introduced to enhance the implementation of the law. We opened the process up for comments and we sincerely appreciate and welcome all the comments that have been made. The social partners at the National Economic Development and Labour Council (Nedlac) are now busy consolidating these inputs. This means the final product will be a result of a consultative process that reflects the views of a cross-section of our population,” she said.
She added that she is aware that many political parties are now jumping on the bandwagon criticising the regulations and said she hoped that the said parties have contributed their views through the public input process.
“As a department, it is important that the final product is the result of consultation – the basis on which our democracy was forged. We take seriously our commitment to tri-partism. The public had until March 31 2014 to make comments or suggestions that are now under consideration at Nedlac,” she said.
The EE legislation has clear objectives of promoting equal opportunities and the elimination of unfair discrimination in employment policies and practices in the workplaces. Above all, the Act aims to give effect to the fundamental Constitutional rights, including the right to equality, fair labour practice and protection against unfair discrimination; to strengthen the implementation and enforcement mechanisms of the Act; and to ensure that South Africa complies and meets its obligations in terms of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) standards.
Media Statement: Department of Labour: 04 April 2014