Sakeliga demand immediate withdrawal of draft regulations on employment equity 

Thulas Nxesi

Lawyers for Sakeliga have today written to Minister Thulas Nxesi warning him that his regulations on sectoral targets in the workplace and the accompanying process for public participation are incoherent and incomprehensible and should be withdrawn. If he does not withdraw it, the regulations, if promulgated, will be susceptible to judicial review. 

The draft regulations, published on 12 May under the Employment Equity Act as recently amended to provide for sectoral race and gender quotas determined by the Minister, seek to determine race and gender quotas per industry per province. However, the regulations have been so incoherently and incomprehensibly constructed that it is impossible to formulate meaningful comments on the proposed targets. Furthermore, no explanation was provided to assist in making sense of the numbers. 

Sakeliga is opposed to unreasonable state interference in private enterprises. The draft regulations and the enabling legislation for them provide for intrusive race and gender quotas which the Minister can ostensibly impose on any business with more than 50 employees. Sakeliga is already busy preparing court papers to have the amended Act reviewed and the most objectionable parts of it set aside. The fact that the draft regulations in terms of the Act are incomprehensible and incoherent is aggravating circumstances. 

In Sakeliga’s letter of demand to the Minister, we point out that as it currently stands, Sakeliga cannot comment on the draft regulations and the rest of the public probably won’t be able to either. The public comment process around the regulations is tainted with illegitimacy and unfairness. Sakeliga is therefore demanding the withdrawal of the draft regulations and warns that should the minister continue along this path, the regulations will be subject to review and that we reserve the right to have them reviewed and set aside. 

Read Sakeliga’s letter of demand here