Employment and Labour Minister Thulas Nxesi implored government to educate communities on the recently amended Employment Equity Act (EEA).
Speaking at the Employment Equity road show in Chatsworth, Durban, on Thursday, Nxesi said there was still a long way to go towards emancipation.
He added that following the signing into law of the EE Act amendments, ‘the DA has embarked on propaganda to mislead the people’.
“People tell coloured communities that they will now be removed. That is propaganda,” he said.
The DA protested against this amendment, claiming that the amended act was aimed at increasing the employment of black people in South Africa, and ‘600 000 people will lose their jobs because they have the ‘wrong’ skin colour or live and work in the ‘wrong’ areas’, DA leader John Steenhuisen said in a statement.
The minister explained the pace of transformation at workplaces was at a snail’s pace. “Through the EE amendments, we want to deal with the Irish coffee syndrome — that is the society the DA wants,” Nxesi said.
He added that the Commission for Employment Equity (CEE) report released in June showed that EE at workplaces is unfolding at a snail’s pace. The recent CEE report showed that top management was still occupied by white people, at 62.9 %, followed by Africans, at 16.9%.
This, according to CEE, was despite the fact that Africans constituted 80% of the national economically active population (EAP), followed by coloureds at 9.3%, whites at 8% and Indians at 2.7%.
“The CEE report says the most disadvantaged people and also under-represented are the coloured people. People tell coloured communities that they will now be removed. That is propaganda. In all economic sectors white people have been overly represented.”
The minister expressed his agony at the economic sectors that have abandoned their charter commitments to transform. He said corruption has seemingly taken over and destroyed communities.
“We had to postpone the promulgation of EE regulations to first hear the voices of people. Transformation is painful and not nice,” he said.
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