The Department of Labour has announced that it will publish the Employment Equity Amendment Bill and the Draft Employment Equity Regulations on Friday (21 September) in response to the slow pace of transformation in the workplace.
The Amendment Bill introduces Section 53 of the Employment Equity Act (EEA), which was never promulgated since the inception of the Act in 1998.
The proposed amendments are primarily aimed at empowering the minister of labour to regulate the setting of sector-specific EE numerical targets and the criteria for the assessment of compliance for the issuing of EE Certificates of Compliance under Section 53 of the EEA.
This bill is ‘complemented’ by the draft EE regulations, which unpack the provisions of the bill and provide implementation guidelines and tools.
“Last year we said enough of the analysis and let us up the ante. It was for this reason that we announced last year that we intend to promulgate section 53 of the Act, coupled with enhancing the capacity of our inspection and enforcement,” said minister of labour, Mildred Oliphant.
She added that her department will start consulting through public hearings that will be conducted in all nine provinces during October 2018 to raise public awareness and solicit oral representations on the proposed amendments and the draft EE regulations.
“The department’s concern is the slow pace of transformation that is existing as portrayed in the quarterly reports on demographics of the Economically Active Population (EAP) released by Statistics South Africa,” it said in a statement on Friday.
“The Commission for Employment Equity (CEE) annual reports has repeatedly shown a marginal progress in relation to the equitable representation of the designated groups, in particular, Africans, coloureds and persons with disabilities in the middle-to-upper occupational levels.
“The CEE Annual reports submitted from 2001 to 2017 showed that the public sector presented significant progress of transformation as compared to the private sector, even though women in the public sector are underrepresented when taking into account their 45.3% of the EAP.”