“The Cape Chamber Of Commerce and Industry is correct in their analysis, [because] they go back to their companies and receive feedback on a regular basis,” Michael Bagraim, labour analyst at Bagraim Attorneys told CNBC Africa.
The chamber was most critical of the enforced mechanisms section within the report, which drive laws that set national and regional demographics for reasonable representation. In their report the chamber encouraged employment equity in the workplace, but rejected the implementation of racial quotas in top-paying jobs.
“The minister [Mildred Oliphant] has messed up with the demographics. She is looking at businesses with over 150 people at the top lance of the national demographic. This means you can supress coloured people in the [Western] Cape and Indians in [Kwa-Zulu] Natal,” said Bagraim.
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The Department of Labour stressed that less than 20 per cent of South Africa’s top management positions are occupied by the black demographic and the white demographic dominates top management positions at 62.7 per cent. These figures motivated the drafting of the new employment equity regulations.
However, in reports the chamber explained that implementing national demographics quotas would be unfairly discriminatory in some regions of the country. This was partly because of an incident within the Department of Correctional Services which denied qualified coloured members of staff for promotion based on the new draft regulations.
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Bagraim added that the employment equity document instead focussed on social engineering and not on the underlying problem, which is a shortage of skilled workers.
“Businesses are shrinking [and] we need qualified people. Many businesses are [therefore] looking for people abroad who have expertise,” he said, and added that personnel with business acumen should be part of the commission compiling the employment equity draft.