Section 9 Equality
This right continues to be a contentious issue in a society characterised by severe poverty and socio-economic disparity. According to the World Bank, South Africa remains the world’s most unequal society. The highest number of complaints received by the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) in 2017/18 related to the infringement of the right to equality – with reference to alleged discrimination based on race, disability and ethnic or social origin.
In relation to gender equality, women appear to still be overlooked at top management level according to the Commission for Employment Equity Annual Report 2017/18, which recorded representation of women at this level at 22.9%, while men occupy 77.1% of the positions. The Employment Equity Amendment Bill 2018, proposing sectoral numerical targets of people from “designated groups” at all occupational levels raises concern, as it fails to address deeper socio-economic disadvantage.