Few people would disagree with the Employment Equity Act’s goals of “eliminating unfair discrimination in employment” and ensuring equitable access to the economy for all South Africans. We need an open, equitable and non-discriminatory economy.
However, in its pursuit of these goals the EEA has now become a core tool in the ANC’s project to reshape society and the economy according to demographic representivity (DR). The ANC’s objective has long been to ensure that DR is achieved in the private sector to the same degree that it is already a reality in the public sector. As Rob Davis put it in 2012 “We need to make sure that in the country’s economy, control, ownership and leadership are reflective of the demographics of the society in the same way that the political space does.”