‘Correctional Services AA plan unfair’

A Labour Court has ruled on the department’s employment equity approach.

A Labour Court ruling states the department’s employment equity approach should consider regional and national demographics. Picture: RSC Inc.

CAPE TOWN - The Labour Court in the Western Cape has ruled the Correctional Services Department's affirmative action plan is unfair.

The court ruled the department's approach to its employment equity should take into account regional and national demographics when hiring or promoting coloured people.

Trade union Solidarity took the department to court over the matter, arguing the Correctional Services' employment equity policies are negatively affecting coloured people, who hold the majority in the province but not nationally.

Clapping, singing and chanting filled the cramped courtroom as Judge Hilary Rabkin-Naicker finished handing down judgement.

Rabkin-Naicker ruled Correctional Services' employment equity plan discriminated against, in this case, some officials represented by Solidarity, who were overlooked for promotion due to their race.

The union's Dirk Herman says today's ruling marks a new era for affirmative action in South Africa.

But he stresses they must press on with their efforts and will partially appeal aspects of the judgement.

Correctional Services says it will study the ruling before announcing any further steps.