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Employment equity, part 2

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Dear Editor

I am amazed by the patronising tone of the letter written to you on the above subject by annonymous on 04 september. Whilst the author of that letter acknowledges the need for employment equity in South Africa, he clearly demonstrates lack of understanding and knowledge on the issue.

He is quite right to say that the Constitution prohibits unfair discrimination on grounds such as gender and race. What he fails to refer to is, however, the fact that the very constitution provides for the implementation of legislation whose aim is to ensure that past unfair discrimination is dealt with. that's the exact reason why we have employment equity act.

His reference to 90% black ownership or control in the workplace is also false. The act is aimed at ensuring that companies reflect the demographics of a particular region/province or even nationally, dependant on the size and operations of that organisation. (see section 46 of the EE Act)

Lastly, I believe this idea which is being thrown around that employment equity is about race and gender is false and misleading. I am a blind person and thus a person with a disability. According to the EE Act, people with disabilities are also part of the designated groups which are deserving of the benefits of the Act.

Throughout my entire career-seeking period I have always found myself faced with questions such as "how are you going to do your job, do you know how to use a computer, etc". As highlighted by Jimmy Manye of the Commission for Employment Equity, "people with disabilities are left by the wayside". Employment Equity is not something unique to South Africa and I believe if implemented properly it will definitely work for our country.

Sechaba Taunyane

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