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Press Statement dated 7 December 2012

Issued by Johan Kruger, Spokesperson: Solidarity

Trade union Solidarity has referred five new cases against the racial plan of the Department of Correctional Services (DCS) to the Labour Court. The new cases may be combined with the five existing cases, which would make it the largest affirmative action case in South Africa to date. Meanwhile the prehearing for the first five cases was concluded in the Cape Town Labour Court today.

Dirk Groenewald, Head of Solidarity’s Labour Court division, says the trade union and the DCS will approach the Judge President next year to move up the court date for the first five cases. ‘However, it seems likely that we will combine the five new cases with the existing cases. We want to intensify our legal action against the DCS. Hundreds of people are being unfairly disadvantaged through the DCS’s affirmative action plan.’

In August this year the Labour Court in Cape Town granted an urgent interdict against the DCS’s controversial affirmative action plan. According to the interdict the DCS may not fill the position for which Christopher February, a member of Solidarity, applied before the case has been heard.

‘All Solidarity’s cases against the DCS revolve around the department’s controversial affirmative action plan. According to the plan the national racial demographics must be reflected in all job levels, regardless of the profile of the province or region. Coloured people make up about 51% of the economically active population of the Western Cape and in several specific regions they constitute an even larger portion of the population, while on national level they make up only around 8,8% of the overall population. By implication, although 51% of economically active people in the Western Cape are coloured, the DCS wants only 8,8% of its employees in this province to be coloured. As a result, there are very few or no opportunities for promotion for coloured people in the Western Cape DCS.

‘The DCS’s plan is nothing but a huge social engineering programme. According to the plan, people must relocate to get access to rights to which they are entitled. South Africans must receive the full protection of all legislation and must have the freedom to practise their careers without restriction wherever they reside,’ Groenewald added.

Solidarity is representing Derick Wher, Jan Kotze, Desiree Merkeur, Deidre Jordaan en Teresa Abrahams in the five new cases. The trade union is also representing Geo-nita Baartman, Linda-Jean Fortuin, André Jonkers, Christopher February and Pieter Davids.

Johan Kruger, Spokesperson: Solidarity


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