EEB will make private companies like government departments

23 March 2022 - The Employment Equity Amendment Bill (EEB) will ramify public-sector dysfunction deep into the private sector if it is not vetoed by President Cyril Ramaphosa.

 

The Employment Equity Amendment Bill (EEB) will ramify public-sector dysfunction deep into the private sector if it is not vetoed by President Cyril Ramaphosa.

To recall what race-laws have already done, consider former trade unionist Ebrahim Harvey’s observation in a piece on BusinessLive this week: “If you listen carefully to the testimonies at the Zondo commission, the structural links between corruption on one hand and BEE and ANC cadre deployment on the other is unquestionably clear and in fact endemic.” [See: https://www.businesslive.co.za/bd/life/2022-03-22-big-read-bee-is-why-we-are-the-most-unequal-country-in-the-world/]

BEE undermines dignity by presupposing that black people could not succeed on merit and it undermines justice by incentivising crony capitalism at the top tiers of South Africa’s economy.

In SOEs, where BEE has been most harshly implemented, BEE’s attack on dignity and justice allowed money intended for maintenance to be misused while procurement funds were squandered, rendering Eskom, Denel, SAA, Transnet, Prasa, and so many others derelict, bankrupt, or totally defunct.

According to the State Capture Report, “evidence shows that the ideals of [black] empowerment were grossly manipulated and abused to advance the interests of a few individuals”.
This echoes the IRR’s understanding of BEE as “Blatant Elite Enrichment” at the cost of ordinary South Africans who have languished in a no-growth economy for over a decade.

The State Capture Report shows that the BEE parasite afflicted parts of the private sector, especially in financial services like auditing, but it demonstrates that the those who “grossly manipulated and abused” race laws predominantly functioned from within the public sector under the auspices of “transformation”.

That is why all South Africans have an interest in knowing that EEB would effectively impose the same arbitrarily hard quotas within the private sector as have existed in the civil service and at SOEs. This will extend what the State Capture report calls the “intractable problems” of putting race first at work from part of the economy to almost the entire economy.

According to President Ramaphosa “the private sector employs some three quarters of South Africa’s workers”. This means that the hardcore of South Africa’s embattled workforce will be exposed to ANC cadre deployment by the EEB. The consequences will be dire for all South Africans, especially those in the “precariat”, a term for working people with little to fall back on, most of whom are black.

In a recent press briefing, the IRR warned that if the EEB becomes a reality, South Africa’s unemployment rate will rise to exceed 50% on the expanded definition. [See: https://irr.org.za/media/eeb-will-push-sa2019s-unemployment-rate-through-50-irr]

If President Ramaphosa sees reality for what it is, and wants positive change, he must veto the EEB.

The IRR has set up a campaign where members of the public can object to the Bill and call on President Ramaphosa to veto it. Go to: https://irr.org.za/campaigns/stop-race-quotas
 

 
Media contacts: Gabriel Crouse, IRR Head of Campaigns – 082 510 0360; gabriel@irr.org.za
Chris Hattingh, IRR Deputy Head of Campaigns – 083 600 8688; chris@irr.org.za
 
Media enquiries: Michael Morris Tel: 066 302 1968 Email: michael@irr.org.za

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