Labour minister: We're fighting strong equity resistance

Labour Minister Mildred Oliphant says there are people still resisting change in the workplace.

Labour Minister Mildred Oliphant. Picture: Regan Thaw/Eyewitness News

CAPE TOWN - Labour Minister Mildred Oliphant on Tuesday said there are people still resisting change and the recent Woolworths furore is an example of this.

The national retailer came under attack over its employment equity policies.

Many consumers threatened to boycott the company over its advertisements for black, Indian or coloured applicants only.

The company has refused to give in, saying it is committed to transformation and the spirit of diversity in this country.

Oliphant addressed the media on the Commission for Employment Equity's annual report.

The report paints a picture of slow progress in employment equity.

The report looked at the four structures of employment and it showed government performed much better than the private sector in terms of both race and gender presentation.

Across the country, progress remains slow in senior management levels.

The Western Cape is the worst performing province compared to all other provinces in terms of race at nearly every occupational level.

Oliphant took the opportunity to urge the media to encourage striking Marikana miners to return to work.

The miners went on an illegal strike in August. They are demanding a salary of R12,500.

Fourty-four people, including two policemen, were killed during the first week of the protest.

The minister said if Lonmin decides to close down its Marikana mine, it would not be obliged to hire the workers again if it does reopen.

Negotiations with the miners are expected get underway soon.