The equity composition of employees in a selected provincial government department in the Western Cape, South Africa
In 1994 the newly elected democratic South African government inherited a nation deeply scarred by a history of racial division and social, political and economic inequality. The democratic government was determined to create an environment that felt like home to all, a society that welcomed all and a political environment that catered for all. The democratic government therefore introduced laws and structures designed to promote the principle of “equity.” Although these have been in force for more than 22 years, statistics indicate that white people continue to receive preference over other racial groups. This study sought to provide an overview of the equity composition of employees in the Department of the Premier in the Western Cape government. “Equity composition” refers to the categories of race and gender invoked by the Employment Equity Act in order to promote equality. The aim was to reach a set of conclusions and make recommendations that might improve the equity composition of employees in the direction envisaged by the legislation. The researcher has made use of a qualitative research methodology for this study. Unstructured interviews were conducted with twenty research participants purposively selected from the Department of the Premier, and the data gathered from the interviews was analysed using content analysis. The study found that there has been an increase in efforts to accommodate people with disabilities. It recommends that a dedicated training workshop regarding employment equity be designed by the director of the people management practices unit and rolled out throughout the department.
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