President signs Employment Equity Amendment Bill

The President has signed the Employment Equity Amendment Bill into law.

The amended Act has not been published yet but, it is expected that it will be done in the coming days.

There has been a bit of a curve ball development however – below is a copy of a report published in the Daily Investor re: the Employment Equity Amendment Bill.

This clearly won’t prevent the publication of the Act but may influence the contents depending on the court ruling when it is delivered.

REPORT PUBLISHED

‘Sakeliga and Solidarity yesterday announced their intentions to challenge the Employment Equity Act in court, and both are in the process of preparing litigation. Sakeliga, in a media statement, said that they are challenging the Act as it allows the government to prescribe demographic quotas to private employers – regardless of whether they do business with the state or not. This is part of the “piecemeal introduction of a fundamentally unacceptable policy”, Sakeliga said. The non-profit said it would liaise with other organisations who oppose the Act and encourage employers not to comply with the “unconstitutional and harmful legislation”. 

Solidarity is another organisation preparing for a legal battle over the Act. The trade union wrote to President Cyril Ramaphosa in August 2022 pointing out that the amendments to the Act are unconstitutional. It also submitted its argument to Parliament. According to Solidarity, not only are the amendments to the Act unconstitutional, but so is South Africa’s existing racial legislation, as indicated by the South African Human Rights Commission. The new legislation grants immense power to Minister Nxesi and is effectively “central racial planning”, Solidarity said in a media statement. Solidarity said employment equity targets would be forced onto private companies, resulting in dire economic consequences such as job losses, an exodus of skilled labour, and decreased economic efficiency.’

FEDHASA along with Advocate Jan Munnick and some of your group hotel representatives, have had numerous meetings at a senior level with the Dept of Labour and Employment regarding the new Employment Equity Amendment Bill and presented a letter prepared by Bowman’s and Advocate Munnick, detailing the failings of the new Amendment Bill and impracticality of our industry, meeting the target they have set.

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