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Employment and Labour on amended Employment Equity Act to aid workplace transformation in South Africa

31 Aug 2022

Newly amended Employment Equity (EE) Act to aid workplace transformation in SA to come into operation on 01 September 2023

The amended Employment Equity (EE) Act of 1998 to empower the Employment and Labour Minister to regulate sector specific EE targets and to regulate compliance criteria to issue EE Compliance Certificate in terms of Section 53 of the EE Act will come into force on the first of September 2023

Department of Employment and Labour’s Acting Deputy Director-General (DDG) of Labour Policy and Industrial Relations (LP&IR) Thembinkosi Mkalipi said the signing of the Bill by President Cyril Ramaphosa was imminent. He said this was expected to happen between now and beginning of the year.

The Employment Equity Amendment Bill, 2020 was passed by Parliament (National Assembly and National Council of Provinces) on 17 May 2022 and is waiting for the assenting and signing into law by the President.

The main objectives of the Amendments are to empower the Minister to regulate sector specific EE Targets and to regulate compliance criteria to issue EE Compliance Certificate in terms of Section 53 of the EEA. This means that organisations that do business with the State will have to be in good standing when it comes to compliance with EE.

He cautioned that even those businesses that do not necessarily do business directly with the State will have to comply with the law. 

Engagements on the setting of sector specific EE targets started from June 2019 and will be completed by the end of September 2022.

The Acting Deputy Director-General was speaking at the Eastcape Training Centre (ETC) in Gqeberha today during the joint Department of Employment and Labour, and the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) 2022 Employment Equity workshop.

Mkalipi said the Department will in due course publish the list of sector targets for public comment.

“The implication for employers is that if you have an EE plan in place it will be affected by the setting of targets and you will have to revisit your targets,” he said.

According to Mkalipi 18 sectors has been consulted on the setting of EE targets.

Some of the sectors consulted include: education; water supply, sewerage management & remediation; accommodation and food services; human health & social work; agriculture, forestry & fishing; wholesale and retail trade; repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles; administrative and support; professional, scientific & technical; electricity, gas steam & air conditioning supply; financial & insurance activities.

The remaining sectors that are to be consulted between now and end of September 2022 include: mining and quarrying; public administration and defence, manufacturing, information & communication, construction and real estate.

Mkalipi said a new EE online assessment system will be created to monitor the implementation of sector targets. He said the assessment will be done annually. Mkalipi said the system will allow employers to report on their planned targets and how they intend to achieve those.

He said in the financial year 2024, the first year post sector target setting period - the system will be able to tell whether employers were achieving their target plans. He said in case employers were not meeting their target they would need to have justifiable reasons for not achieving their set targets.

“The system will accept in good faith all the information supplied. The Department will through the inspectorate visit workplaces to verify if information submitted is genuine,” he warned that in case what has been submitted was not genuine a Certificate of Compliance will be withdrawn and penalties will kick in.

Teboho Thejane
Departmental Spokesperson
082 697 0694
Teboho.Thejane@labour.gov.za

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