S. Arica President assures job security to Indians

PTI Johannesburg | Updated on March 09, 2011

The South African President, Mr Jacob Zuma, has assured Indians in the country that they would not lose their jobs due to proposed changes in employment laws.

In a statement issued by the presidency, Mr Zuma assured the members of the Indian and Coloured communities that the Government would not enact or implement any legislation in conflict with the Constitution and the non-racial ethos and foundations of South Africa.

His reaction comes in the wake of the controversial statement made by the Cabinet Spokesman, Mr Jimmy Manyi, about an oversupply of Indian labourers in KwaZulu-Natal province, and in Western Cape, where the majority of Coloured communities reside.

The comments raised concerns that Indians may have to move to other provinces from their home base where their forefathers first arrived as indentured labourers in 1860.

Mr Zuma said he had met with the Minister of Labour, Mr Mildred Oliphant, who had assured him the legislation was intended to improve the employment prospects of the designated groups and not to make it difficult for them to obtain employment or to advance in their careers.

“These changes do not in any way affect negatively the employment opportunities for the Coloured and/or Indian population. In fact, it makes it easier for employers to comply with the law and create more job opportunities for all the designated groups.

“We have a duty to work together in both the private and public sectors to ensure that employment equity legislation succeeds to correct the wrongs of the past and benefits Africans, coloureds, Indians, women, youth and persons with disability,” he added.

The President said that the Government remained fully committed to the equality clauses in the Constitution and that the State would not discriminate against anybody on the basis of colour, race, religion and other aspects of diversity.

However, the 10th Commission on Employment Equity Report released by the Department of Labour in July 2010 revealed that transformation in the workplace remained “very slow’’.

The report indicated that 10 years after the introduction of the Act, white men continued to hold 63 per cent of top management positions in the private sector, while African women stood at 6 per cent and coloured and Indian women were at one per cent each.

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Published on March 09, 2011
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