SAHRC FOUND AA AND EE POLICIES UNCONSTITUTIONAL
Labour minister Mildred Oliphant has indicated that she will ‘engage’ with the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) after the institution found that the country’s affirmative action and employment equity policies were unconstitutional.
Speaking at the opening of the annual Nedlac conference on 14 September, Oliphant noted that the SAHRC had made various recommendations on what needs to be changed to bring the legislation in line with the Constitution.
“The Commission gives government six months to report back on steps taken to give effect to its recommendations,” she said.
“It follows therefore that the Nedlac social partners need to study this report and advise on its stance vis-à-vis the recommendations of the Commission.
“It might even be useful to seek an audience with the Commission in order to understand the basis for its report, findings and the recommendations.
“This is important given that all our labour laws have to pass constitutional scrutiny before they can be signed into law,” she said.
In the latest report, the SAHRC specifically took issue with the Employment Equity Act’s definition of ‘designated groups’ and South Africa’s system of data disaggregation – which it said are not in compliance with constitutional or international law obligations.