Home | Media Releases Index page

Media Release

12 November, 2002

WCED launches employment equity plan

Statement by André Gaum, Western Cape Education Minister

The Western Cape Education Department (WCED) launched a comprehensive Employment Equity Plan today (Tuesday, 12 November 2002), to ensure that the department employs a demographically representative workforce.

The plan, which meets the requirements of the Employment Equity Act (EEA), commits the department to addressing all the issues relating to employment equity over the next five years.

Eight years ago, this country held her first democratic elections. The Employment Equity Act was born out of the need to reflect the spirit of the times. We must ensure that the workplace reflects our commitment to equality on all levels.

The 41-page document, plus appendices, places a strong emphasis on training and human resource development to ensure that the department has the personnel needed for a demographically representative workforce.

Human resource development will be geared towards African, Coloured, Indian and female employees, as well as disabled people, without excluding the development of other employees.

The department finalised the plan in August this year, following a lengthy consultative process.

In terms of the plan, the WCED will promote employment equity as an organisational imperative that addresses a shortage of certain skilled people and the projected management requirements of the department.

The plan addresses a wide range of challenges, including:

  • Under representation of African employees in higher-level positions;
  • The working environment of people with disabilities;
  • Career path development for women with management potential;
  • The need for diversity management training; and
  • The need to provide guidelines on dealing with discrimination in the workplace.

The WCED has studied the demographic profile of educators and public service staff of the department closely in the course of developing the plan.

In terms of race, the department found that African educators were under-represented by 6%, compared to the overall population of the province. The comparison found that coloured educators were over-represented by 7%; Indian educators were under-represented by 1.5%; and white educators were over-represented by 1%.

Male educators are under-represented by 12%, while females were over-represented by 12%.

The plan notes that while female educators are over-represented, they are under-represented in managerial positions. Their over representation reflects the extent to which teaching has become a predominantly female profession.

As far as public service staff are concerned, the WCED found that Africans were under-represented by 10.5%; coloured public servants were over-represented by 17.4%; Indians were under-represented by 1.8%; and whites were under-represented by 5.5%.

Males were under-represented by 5%, and females were over represented by 5%. The report notes that while female public servants are over represented, they are very much under-represented in managerial positions.

The plan includes various strategies for achieving a balanced representation, from human resource development to addressing under-representation as vacancies arise, career path planning, in-service capacity building, and ensuring that recruitment procedures are geared towards meeting the needs of employment equity.

Achieving employment equity will be a process, rather than a once-off event. I have challenged every employee of the WCED to take ownership of this plan. The framework and guidelines will facilitate skills development. I have appealed to employees to make the most of the opportunities presented.

Media inquiries:
Ruhan Robbertze
Cell: 082 577 6551
 return to: Home | Media Releases Index page