Solidarity has been asking for a long time that certain parts of affirmative action legislation be declared unconstitutional and that the Employment Equity Act be amended. This coming Wednesday in the Labour Court in Johannesburg, this request will be heard for consideration. This could mean the end of affirmative action in its present form.
This court application by Solidarity is the result of a very long process through various channels. A timeline highlighting the long tortuous road to justice is given below.
The South African government submitted its periodic report and Solidarity submitted a shadow report to CERD (Geneva, Switzerland).
CERD is the United Nations (UN) committee on the elimination of racial discrimination, where all countries have to report on their progress in this regard.
Solidarity and the South African government clashed during a session of the UN’s CERD committee on the government’s policy of racial quotas in the workplace.
This followed after the report that Solidarity had submitted to the UN about a year previously.
In a report, CERD criticised South Africa’s system of racial classification.
According to the report, CERD was concerned about South Africa’s use of racial classification peculiar to the apartheid era in labour legislation.
Solidarity requested the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) to formally investigate legislation on black economic empowerment and affirmative action.
This followed after criticism in a report by CERD on South Africa’s system of racial classification.
Solidarity submitted a complaint to the International Labour Organisation (ILO) on South Africa’s policy of affirmative action and black economic empowerment.
According to Solidarity, the government was guilty of unfair racial discrimination, and it requested the ILO to investigate it and give a judgment in this regard.
In a mass complaint, Solidarity asked CERD to launch a formal investigation by requesting information from organisations such as the SAHRC and the government and to send a delegation to South Africa with a view to investigating the situation at ground level.
Should CERD agree on the substance of Solidarity’s complaint, the committee may make recommendations to the government and/or refer the matter to the Security Council of the UN.
In a report on equality, the SAHRC found that the Employment Equity Act should be amended.
In short, this means that SA’s affirmative action legislation is unlawful. The SAHRC’s report was issued after Solidarity had submitted a report on SA’s affirmative action programme to CERD as well as a petition to the SAHRC.
In the Labour Court in Johannesburg, Solidarity is asking that certain parts of legislation on affirmative action be declared unconstitutional and that the Employment Equity Act be amended.
Solidarity’s court application comes after the SAHRC’s finding that certain elements of SA’s affirmative action programme do not comply with the Constitution and international legal obligations.
The SAHRC recommended that the Employment Equity Act be amended and that the government should, within six months after the report was released, give feedback on how the Act is to be amended, which has not been complied with.
To support the complaint to the United Nations against the government’s racial insanity, click here.