President should veto job-destroying Employment Equity Amendment Bill

Issued by Dr Michael Cardo MP – DA Shadow Minister for Employment and Labour
20 May 2022 in News

Please find attached soundbite by Dr Michael Cardo MP.

The DA has written to the President, urging him not to sign the job-destroying Employment Equity (EE) Amendment Bill into law. The National Council of Provinces passed the bill earlier this week, several months after it was given the green-light by the National Assembly (despite the ANC’s initial embarrassing failure to muster a quorum).

The bill is a damaging and destructive exercise in social engineering, and it will worsen South Africa’s economic woes.

Critically, the Bill empowers the Minister of Employment and Labour to set numerical EE targets for any national economic sector after a vaguely defined process of consultation with the relevant sectors. The Minister will be able to set targets for different occupational levels, sub-sectors or regions, backed by fines for non-compliance.

This is a recipe for malicious ministerial meddling. It amounts to the tacit introduction of race quotas, and raises concerns around constitutionality.

At the most basic level, the new provisions confer upon the Minister’s wide-ranging, arbitrary powers that are completely incompatible with the principles of a market-based economy.

The bill will deter investors, undermine economic growth and jeopardise jobs at a time when many businesses are on their knees, with almost 12 million South Africans unemployed and a record-high unemployment rate (on the expanded definition) of 46.2%.

It will entrench crony-capitalism by benefitting ANC-aligned fat cats. However, the bill will do nothing for the huge numbers of jobless South Africans who are drowning as the cost of living rises like a tidal wave.

In its ideologically-blinkered and unconstitutional pursuit of “demographic representivity”, the ANC has unleashed a legislative wrecking ball on the private sector. Instead of freeing up businesses for economy recovery, the ANC intends to clamp down on them under the jackboot of racial interventionism.

The President must stop the madness and refrain from signing the Employment Equity Amendment Bill into law.