Employment Equity Forum

On 4 May, the IJR co-hosted a public Dialogue on Employment Equity: Ticking Boxes or True Transformation, together with the Rethinking ‘Race and Affirmative Action in the United States and South Africa project.

After excellent inputs from panelists Dr. Zimitri Erasmus, Ian Ollis, MP, Kashif Wicomb, Ernst Roets, and James Ngculu, guided by Zetu Makamandela-Mguqulwa,  it became clear that many at the event wanted to continue an important conversation about our national equity goals, and how best these can be achieved.

This page serves as a site to continue the Dialogue we started at the City Hall. Please leave your comments and questions below, and I will post new pictures and other content as it becomes available. Ground Rules: The Dialogue set the tone for a respectful and constructive conversation – lets keep this going! Differing views are welcome, offensive language is not!


UPDATE 1: An article entitled Whites still hold top jobs as change is ‘not fast enough’ appeared in The Sowetan on Friday, 6 May.

UPDATE 2: Have a look at pictures taken by Michaela Verity at the Dialogue event – more by the same photographer on our Flickr stream are also available here.

UPDATE 3: Video footage of the panelists has been uploaded to our YouTube stream – I am also including these below.

UPDATE 4: If you haven’t read it yet, I want to recommend this article by Zimitri Erasmus, which appeared in the SA Reconciliation Barometer newsletter in 2010.

UPDATE 5: Inputs from all Dialogue panelists have been re-published in the latest issue of the SA Reconciliation Barometer newsletter – read and comment online here or download the full PDF here.

UPDATE 6: Read the recently-released 2010 annual report of the Commission on Employment Equity here.

Introductory remarks by Chair, Zetu Makamandela-Mguqulwa, UCT Ombud

Opening statement by Dr Zimitri Erasmus, UCT

Opening statement by Kashif Wicomb, Black Management Forum

Opening statement by James Ngculu, African National Congress

Opening statement by Ian Ollis, MP, Democratic Alliance

Opening statement by Ernst Roets, Afriforum

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3 Responses to “Employment Equity Forum”

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Good Day,

Due to a busy schedule I’ll cut straight to the proverbial chase.

Without sounding abusive or destructive, it’s with grave concern for the future of equality that I draft this comment.

I cannot believe what a waste of time the workshop/session was. I joined the forum to hear answers and/or to discuss how to implement structures or solutions to the inequality problem – A problem which is literally on our doorstep to see everyday. Go to work and you’ll see who fills the management, middle management and executive posts ? = White people. Go outside and see how many ‘white people’ are hugging the street corners in a vain attempt to find employment for the day,not many ? who drives the expensive cars, and who live in the nicer areas. Please people, its as clear as day so lets not waste more time with recorded forums. The time has come for us to apply militant pressure to Government as well as business to change their processes and policies, militantly – In future, let that be the only topic for your next forum, solution orientated not long speeches on the history of the injustices and/or statistics which can be obtained on the internet. I’d like to add value to a progressive progress not one where an over educated panel tells me things I already know. The panel is responsible for definitive answers, thats why they’re there. This, in my view was not delivered and I left disillusioned as too why they attended.

I look forward to your next forum on how we’re actually going to apply pressure ans measures to business, via government, to implement change or face the consequences.

Clinton Maslamoney
0766 45 83 54 (call me anytime to discuss)

For a future panel, I think it might be helpful to have some sort of “pre-discussion” where we’re able to get the history and basic questions out of the way. Online maybe? Although I know that can be exclusionary. Still, it would be nice to get there and be able to get to the meat of the issue.

Also, I think someone raised it at the event that there were actually a few issues being conflated. In the very least, I think that helps plan followup events where each is taken separately.

Also, while a variety of viewpoints is definitely necessary in such a discussion, too many people on the panel means that their statements and responses take a long time and some of the nuance between more closely related arguments gets lost.

Lastly, just as a point of organising: Maybe have mics set up in the isles and people queue to question/comment. That removes the arbitrary nature of people raising hands and not being seen.

It’s a frustrating topic, and we did fairly well in a compressed format. But I think that with some additional planning we can make great use of the time and get a lot out of it.

Thanks to both Clinton and Scott for your comments. On a slightly separate note, I am just re-reading some articles by Naomi Zack (see http://pages.uoregon.edu/uophil/faculty/profiles/nzack/) in the US and am once again struck by her insight!

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