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By Faizel Patel

Senior Digital Journalist


DA gears up for mass march in protest against race quotas

The DA says the march makes it clear that it will not tolerate the new race quotas.


The Democratic Alliance (DA) is gearing up for a protest against what it calls government’s new race quotas.

DA leader John Steenhuisen, party members, and supporters are expected to demonstrate through the streets of Cape Town heading to Parliament on Wednesday.

In April, President Cyril Ramaphosa signed the Employment Equity Amendment Bill into law.

Provisions

Among its key provisions, the bill paves the way for the Minister of Employment and Labour Thulas Nxesi to set employment equity targets for economic sectors, as well as regions where transformation is lagging.

The law requires employers with more than 50 employees to submit employment equity plans for their companies, spelling out how they will achieve these targets.

The law will also compel labour inspectors to inspect workplaces and to issue employers with compliance orders.

ALSO READ: ANC slams ‘cheap electioneering’ over employment equity laws

Outrage

The DA’s leader said the march makes it clear the party will not tolerate the new race quotas and is outraged by the impact the law will have on Coloured and Indian citizens.

“We believe it will divide the country on the basis of race. The new quotas could ban you or your children from working in certain sectors or province based on the colour of their skin. This could cause 600 000 people to lose their jobs.”

Electioneering

Earlier this month, African National Congress (ANC) secretary-general Fikile Mbalula accused opposition parties of misleading the public by using the new employment equity laws to attract votes for the 2024 national elections.

Mbalula said the governing party would continue to support affirmative action and employment equity, but “not as job reservations tactics which was notoriously applied by the apartheid regime”.

“You must understand that to us, as the ANC, blacks mean Coloureds, Indians and Africans. To others it might mean something [else],” Mbalula said.

ALSO READ: What does Solidarity employment equity agreement with government change?

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