Minister Nxesi’s employment equity evasions demonstrate contempt for racial minorities

Issued by Dr Michael Cardo MP – DA Shadow Minister of Employment and Labour
13 Jun 2023 in News

Note to editors: Please find attached soundbite by Dr Michael Cardo MP.

Yesterday, as residents of Westbury protested against the Employment Equity Amendment Act – or Race Quota Act, as the DA has dubbed it – Employment and Labour Minister Thulas Nxesi doubled down on his racial belligerence and intransigence.

In a series of parliamentary questions, the DA had asked Minister Nxesi to explain the rationale and methodology behind the so-called ‘targets’ that he has arbitrarily imposed on various population groups in the workplace, spanning different sectors of the economy.

These quotas, set out in draft regulations, are often set as low as 0.0%–0.5%. They make career advancement seemingly impossible for employees who fall into the category of ‘Coloured males’, ‘Coloured females’, ‘Indian males’ and ‘Indian females’.

Specifically, the DA asked the Minister to:

  • Outline the statistical models and techniques used to compute the racial benchmarks in the Employment Equity Amendment Act.
  • Indicate what specific demographic and labour market data were used as inputs in the formulation of the racial benchmarks.
  • Explain how potential confounding factors, such as sectoral differences, rural vs urban divides, and the unique challenges faced by small businesses, were taken into account in drawing up the quotas.
  • Indicate whether the numbers were arrived at after a formal peer review process involving independent experts in labour economics and statistical modelling.

Needless to say, the Minister did not respond to a single question and resorted instead to a predictable cocktail of righteous bluster and deliberate dull-wittedness.

He evinced his usual contempt for accountability. But more than that he has shown complete disregard for the residents of Westbury and all other racial minorities, whom he treats like second-class citizens.

The Minister’s message to minorities is clear: you are fractions, not humans, second-class citizens, and temporary sojourners in the workplace.

Legally flawed and economically ruinous, the Employment Equity Amendment Act and its associated regulations are a wrecking ball aimed at our labour market apparatus. That is why the DA will leave no stone unturned in challenging the matter in court.

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