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Employment Equity

We the youth of this 1st National Youth Congress having met on the 10-14th February 2014 present to this 4th National Congress this policy format on employment equity for adoption:

This policy statement takes cognisance of the following legislation and precepts:

National and International Law

1.1.International Law

1.1.1.The Universal Declaration of Human Rights Adopted and proclaimed by General Assembly resolution 217 A (III) of 10 December 1948

1.1.2.United Nations Declaration on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination Proclaimed by General Assembly resolution 1904 (XVIII) of 20 November 1963

1.1.3.United Nations Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families.

1.1.4.On the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination against Women United Nations Convention, Last updated: 13-Oct-2005

1.2. Domestic law

1.2.1.The Constitution of South Africa, act No. 108 of 1995.

1.2.2.The Labour Relations Act, No. 66 of 1995

1.2.3.Basic Conditions of Employment Act, No. 75 of 1997

1.2.4.Employment Equity Act, No 55 of 1998 as amended

1.2.5.The Promotion of Equality and Prevention of Unfair Discrimination Act, 4 of 2000

Purpose of this policy statement

This policy statement aims to:

2.1.Provide a critical format on government’s affirmative action policy.

2.2.Ensure a strategic intervention format for CONSAWU and its affiliates including the vulnerable workers in South Africa

2.3.Present the CONSAWU view on AAM and ensure the right to work of all workers who are affiliated to CONSAWU, regardless of race, colour, creed or nationality.

Scope of Application

This policy statement is applicable to all affiliated member organisations, their members as well as all those who work in the service of CONSAWU.

Founding Principles and critical format of government’s affirmative action policy

This policy statement is founded on the following principles:

4.1.The right to equality

Whilst CONSAWU acknowledges the universal right to equality, as enshrined in both international and national law, and affirms its commitment in protecting this right; it finds that notions of equality as promulgated by a political agenda that gives effect to the creation of separate rights based on race, ethnicity, colour, language, union affiliation and origin for different categories of persons repugnant and will most vigorously oppose any such political agenda. CONSAWU’s point of departure is that the right to equality is a fundamental human right and is accorded to every human being..

4.2.The right not to be discriminated against in the workplace.

CONSAWU holds this particular right as fundamental to this policy and identifies the following elements of discrimination as impacting negatively on the dignity, development and empowerment of workers:


Consawu identifies the following elements of nepotism as impacting on the dignity of its members: Political affiliation

Notions of partiality and bias underpin procurement and tendering processes resulting in members of the ruling party or those with political connections being advanced; consequently BEE initiatives are geared to advance only the political elite. Union affiliation informing recruitment policies of state departments

In this case members of the independent public sector unions are marginalised on the basis of their union affiliation, consequently skilled workers are not recognised, nor advanced into positions of management. One of the negativities of such marginalisation has resulted in the collapsing of service delivery in the public sector. Race

Whilst government’s affirmative action policies are configured on race and racial quotas, CONSAWU’s point of departure is based on the fact that race alone should not inform the development and advancement of workers. Factors that should give credence to the notion of ‘equal opportunity’ must include:

The current skills shortage

A skills development programme that is user friendly, easily accessible and recognises language competency through oral testing and practical demonstration .

CONSAWU notes with disappointment and apprehension that depending on the ethnic group the Head of department or company belongs to, a majority of employees from that ethnic group will be recruited and affirmed. CONSAWU is of the view that such practices are not only unconstitutional, but inherent features of discrimination based on ethnic origin. Tokenism

The affirmative action policy as articulated by government has resulted in so-called token appointments which have impacted on production outputs in the workplace. Most candidates to these appointed posts are poorly skilled and lack the knowledge to perform adequately in such posts, given that most are political appointments. This has resulted in extremely poor service delivery in the public sector as a classic example.

4.3. The right to equal remuneration

CONSAWU notes with concern that wage disparity is still based along the following lines: 1.Sex 2.Race [case of token representation [black people] to meet AA needs 3.Familial and other relationships are used in distinguishing salary packages between workers. 4.Sectoral determinations that underpin a rural/ urban divide in terms of wage packages in the domestic and security sectors in particular.

4.4. The right to human dignity

CONSAWU considers the notion of human dignity as fundamental to this policy and notes with concern that the advancement of workers is sometimes predicated on the following:

4.4.1. Sexual favouritism

Competent and dedicated workers are denied access to training and development because they do not give in to advances made by managers. This also discriminates against older and sometimes married women because it seems that younger unmarried women are given more opportunities to go for training.

4.4.2. Sexual Favours

This is seen as a means to promotion. Those who are willing to indulge in such behaviour are more easily promoted.

4.4.3. Marital status

Single mothers are also targeted for sexual favours as they are seen to be ‘easy pickings for managers’.

A strategic intervention format for CONSAWU and its affiliates.

Whilst, CONSAWU does recognise the need for affirmation of persons disadvantaged by the discriminatory policies of the apartheid regime, it is of the view that any affirmative action policy should be based solely on merit. This view is informed by the fundamental right to human dignity and the critical format above underpins CONSAWU’s point of departure on the following grounds:

5.1.The permanent nature of the current affirmative action format.

CONSAWU is deeply concerned that the current affirmative action format does not set a sunset clause for the achievement of substantive equality within the workplace. Consequently the lack of such clause has impacted on the erosion of skilled personal, thus further exacerbating the skills shortage in the country. Trite knowledge alludes to the fact that workers will seek better economic opportunities and should such opportunities be denied to them, they will seek it elsewhere. Thus the exodus of skilled personnel and especially the youth of all race groups is an indication that South Africa is no longer a destination point for economic opportunity and advancement.

CONSAWU will therefore lobby vigorously for the cessation of the current affirmative action format in favour of a format that gives effect to the achievement of the notion of substantive equality regardless of race, colour, ethnic origin, union and political affiliation, class or on any other arbitrary ground.

5.2.The current format affirms only the elite.

CONSAWU is of the view that the current format empowers and advances only the elite few as indicated above. In this regard it proposes a format that will target the substantive empowerment of all workers including vulnerable workers regardless of race, colour, creed who are in need of such empowerment and advancement in all categories and levels of employment based on merit.

5.3.Outcome of the current format is predicated on numerical outcomes.

Given the fact that the current format is goal orientated towards achieving equality along numerical ratios, gives credence to the operation of a quota system that systemically excludes workers on racial and gender lines. This approach therefore advocates the notion of reverse racism against the non-designated groups which is not only unconstitutional but also informs the current xenophobic expressions sweeping the country.

CONSAWU views such a practice as going against the very essence of the founding provisions of our Constitution in achieving a non-racial and non sexist society. Whilst CONSAWU acknowledges the disadvantaged communities of the past, it calls on government to review the current system in favour of an input-based approach to socio-economic development that will ensure a better quality of life for all workers.

5.4.Achievement of a diverse workplace as a strategic goal of nation building.

CONSAWU, is of the view that the current format does not give sufficient priority in the achievement of a diverse workforce and holds that diversity is one of the fundamental cornerstones of our democracy and will vigorously oppose any initiative on the part of anyone that impacts on the creation and achievement of a diversified and united workforce for all workers.

5.5.The current skills development programme

CONSAWU holds the view that the current skills development programme is failing to meet the learning requirements of the present workforce, and especially workers in the vulnerable sector who consistently have been excluded from any kind/ type of affirmation within the ambit of the EEA. The RPL Systems Approach to the upgrading of skills does not give cognisance to language, written and verbal communication competencies of workers. As such there is a call for the education and training methods to also employ oral testing methods that will lead to the accreditation of worker skills, especially workers in the vulnerable sectors where workers are largely not literate.

Further, reports suggest that the current skills development programme is marred by fraud and corruption where massive funds do not reach the intended beneficiaries. CONSAWU will therefore commit to a monitoring function that will ensure accountability within all levels of the skills development programme.

5.6. The right to education

It is the express view of CONSAWU that any attempt to ensure the right to equality, must as a priority address the need for a compulsory, free and quality education for all South Africans, up to tertiary level. Concomitant with this right to education is the right to equality which is interrelated and interdependent on the achievement of substantive equality.

6. Policy articulation and responsibility

Essentially, it is the responsibility of CONSAWU and its National Executive Council to give effect to this policy through the following strategies:

– To ensure education and training programmes for union officials

– To launch awareness raising campaigns

– To participate in community projects

– To establish networks with other relevant stakeholders to highlight and raise awareness on EE at all platforms of social dialogue

– To engage other organisations /institutions on issues that impact on the implementation of EE through critically analysis, debate and discussion.

– Research

Create public awareness through public hearings

7. The global objects of this policy format is as follows:

– To ensure, that the rights to human dignity, equality, freedom of association and integrity of all workers is protected.

– To ensure, the creation of a non-racist, non-sexist, diverse and united workforce.

-To articulate the training and skilling needs of all workers

-To lobby and campaign for skills development in the vulnerable sectors

-To ensure that workers are not discriminated against on any grounds, whether directly or indirectly.

-To ensure accountability of the skills levy system.

-To ensure that all schools are functional –capacity building with regard to CMM [curriculum management and monitoring] managers.

6. Management of adopted policy formats

The planning, management, monitoring and evaluation of this policy format lies within the institution of the National Executive Committee, where the policy is located for articulation or any other committee elected for such purpose.

Adopted as directed by the Fourth National Congress at this meeting of the NEC held on the 21/22 November 2014 at the Pretoria Hotel, Pretoria, Gauteng Province.