Blacks should be preferred over whites for jobs: Cosatu

Blacks should generally be preferred ahead of whites for employment equity purposes, Cosatu said on Monday.

This was underlined by a court ruling that the correctional services department use both provincial and national demographics in implementing affirmative action targets, the Congress of SA Trade Unions (Cosatu) said in a statement.

“This will hopefully serve as a clear indication to the provincial government, City of Cape Town… and private sector, that have an over-representation of white people in the senior positions,” it said.

The Labour Court in Cape Town ruled on Friday that the correctional services department take immediate steps to take both national and regional demographics into account when setting equity targets.

This was applicable at all levels of the department’s work force.

Judge Hilary Rabkin-Naicker ruled in favour of 10 Western Cape correctional service officials who had challenged the department’s employment equity plan.

Initially, five officials challenged the department. They were followed by another five who had been overlooked for promotion on racial grounds. Trade union Solidarity took up the matter on behalf of the 10.

Cosatu welcomed the conclusion that whites would not be considered as a designated group as they were already over-represented in terms of the percentage employed in the Western Cape.

“We are going to use this ruling to ensure that every workplace becomes representative of the province’s demographics, even if we must strike at companies to enforce it,” Cosatu said.

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Blacks should be preferred over whites for jobs: Cosatu