ActionSA supports the transformation of the country’s economy, and the need to build an inclusive economy where all South Africans can be genuine roleplayers, but South Africa’s experience over the past few decades has shown that this cannot be achieved through strict numerical targets set by the draft Employment Equity (EE) regulations.
ActionSA is concerned that the strict Employment Equity (EE) Act targets, published by Minister Thulas Nxesi, will have the unintended consequence of excluding people who were previously disadvantaged from becoming employed.
We believe that the targets may furthermore introduce an additional bureaucratic hurdle and increase the cost of doing business, which may adversely impact job creation in South Africa, leaving the poor and unemployed in an even poorer situation. With the current state of our economy, we cannot be implementing measures that will continue to harm job creation and economic growth.
ActionSA, a political party which values social justice, believes that employment equity regulations should achieve equality of opportunity and not equality of the outcome. This means that where there are obstacles that certain groups might experience, both due to historical events as well as current realities, the state should provide support mechanisms to ensure that individuals have the opportunity to overcome those barriers to prosperity.
The recently published Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS) shows that one of the biggest hurdles to overcome in terms of access to employment is South Africa’s poor education system where 81% of learners in Grade 4 in South Africa are unable to read for meaning. This will perpetuate existing patterns of poverty and inequality as those without the means to afford better quality schooling will be condemned to a reliance on inadequate public schooling.
As part of our inaugural Policy Conference in September 2023, ActionSA will be tabling our policies aimed at addressing the issue of economic justice, and building a more inclusive economy for all South Africans.
Over the coming months we will be engaging South Africans about what Economic Justice means to them, and how they believe it should be addressed. This will include engaging economic experts, academics and everyday South Africans to help us conceptualise a plan which will achieve equality of opportunity in the country.
ActionSA believes the best way to empower our people is by giving them the dignity of a job. Through our current policy process, we are committed to providing new and innovative solutions to the country’s unemployment crises to provide a clear alternative to the ANC’s failed approach.