Zille says no to new racial quotas
Western Cape premier Helen Zille sent out a memo to the province's civil servants, stating that her administration will not comply with the Employment Equity Amendment Bill.
The draft regulations stipulate that organisations with more than 150 employees must hire persons in line with national demographics, particularly at upper management levels . The regulations have come under fire in the Western Cape, where coloureds are in the majority.
The Western Cape ANC and coloured lobby groups are also opposed to the new regulations.
Zille said the regulations amounted to "race-based social engineering".
"No matter how hard-working, committed, qualified and effective an employee is, the prospects of promotion will be determined primarily by race if these regulations come into force," said Zille.
She said that the draft regulations would mean coloureds could only occupy 9% of managerial positions - even though they make up 48% of the province's population.
"Furthermore, the national department [of labour] will audit our appointments and impose penalties for non-compliance," wrote Zille.
She said she had sought legal advice from a senior counsel who informed her that both the regulations and sections of the Employment Equity Amendment Bill were unconstitutional.
"We have submitted our comments to [Labour Minister Mildred Oliphant)] making it clear that we are committed to rational employment equity for all South Africans disadvantaged by apartheid, but will NOT introduce quotas nor accept the absurd and unconstitutional as currently promulgated," said Zille.
She said the provincial government would go as far as the Constitutional Court to fight the bill should it be passed as law.