The Department of Employment and Labour will amend and enact changes around South Africa’s employment equity regulations to address issues around equal opportunities and inclusion.
Presenting the department’s annual strategic plan to parliament on Thursday (7 May), employment and labour director-general Thobile Lamati said that includes a push for further transformation changes at senior levels across South African businesses.
Citing the government’s 2018-2019 Employment Equity report, Lamati said that black Africans currently constitute 23.2% and 40.2% at the senior and middle management levels as reported by designated employers.
He said government will now push for at least a 2% annual increase in the representation of black Africans in senior and middle-manager levels.
He added that the Department of Labour plans to set sector targets to bring this to at least 50% within the next five years (2024).
Lamati said that the department also plans to amend the existing Employment Equity Act to help it meet these transformation targets within the same time frame.
In July 2019, Labour minister Thulas Nxesi announced a planned amendment bill which will regulate the setting of sector-specific employment targets to address the gross under-representation of blacks, women and persons with disabilities.
It will also ensure that an employment equity certificate of compliance becomes a precondition for access to state contracts.
A draft version of the bill published at the end of 2018 indicated that the changes being were made to speed up transformation in the country.
Cabinet approved the submission of the bill to parliament in February.
“The amendments will empower the minister of Employment and Labour, in consultation with sector stakeholders, to introduce enabling provisions for the setting of sector-specific Employment Equity numerical targets,” Cabinet said at the time.
“It also reduces the regulatory burden on small employers. The bill promotes equal opportunity and fair treatment in employment through the elimination of unfair discrimination.”