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Solidarity ready for major litigation over new ‘race law’

Annisa Essack |
13 March 2023 | 12:15 CAT

1 min read

Photo Credit: Solidariteit

President Cyril Ramaphosa earlier today signed the New Employment Equity Act into law. Solidarity today indicated it was preparing for a huge legal battle over the new Act after obtaining a legal opinion that confirms the amendments made to the Act are unconstitutional.

Solidarity Chief Executive Dr Dirk Hermann contends that this legislation grants the Minister draconian racial powers, such as central racial planning, at his discretion. Hermann explained that this would be the most drastic race-manipulating legislation in the world as the private sector would have to follow the state’s example. Private enterprises will become state-run racial enterprises.

Solidarity believes that the Act is unconstitutional and directly contrary to an earlier finding of the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) which indicated that even in its current format South Africa’s racial legislation is unconstitutional and not following international norms and values.

Hermann added that the Act imposes race targets on all sectors, which will have dire economic consequences. That new definitions of “designated employers” will force small businesses to remain small and cost thousands of jobs, and any promotion opportunities for those fortunate enough to keep their jobs will be stopped entirely.

The consequence is that the skills exodus would be accelerated, and South Africa’s economy – like its public service – will become increasingly trapped in a spiral of inefficiency, contraction, and imminent collapse.

Hermann concluded that the state’s obsession with race must be opposed at all costs. Still, without intervention, the government would pursue its policy of ineffective centralisation, even going so far as to take over the human resource function in organisations.


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