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Extent of racial transformation in national government departments unveiled

Tuesday, March 18th, 2014

In a report on the racial transformation of 38 national departments issued today, Solidarity indicates that the civil service has been broadly transformed in terms of race. This comes in the wake of Public Service and Administration Minister Lindiwe Sisulu’s reply to a parliamentary question last year, in which she said that the public service had been transformed and that it reflected the composition of the country’s racial demography.

According to Piet le Roux, senior researcher at the Solidarity Research Institute (SRI), employment data taken from the 2012/’13 annual reports of 38 national departments were analysed and compared with data on South Africa’s economically active population (EAP). The analysis comprised approximately 400 000 government employees. ‘According to the analysis 74,8% of national government employees are black; 10,8% are coloured; 2,2% are Indian; and 12,2% are white. This is virtually identical to the racial composition of the economically active population. This means that even by the government’s obsession with racial counts broad race representivity has already been attained in the public service.’

Le Roux says it means that the constitutional objective of broad representivity in the public service in terms of section 195(1)(i) of the constitution, as well as the objective of “fair” representation in terms of section 2(b) of the Employment Equity Act have been achieved. A rigid continuation of race-based transformation of the public service could only be possible by acting outside the constitutional mandate of broad representivity.’

The publication of the analysis coincides with the run-up to Solidarity’s landmark court case on behalf of Lt-Col Renate Barnard against the South African Police Service (SAPS) which will be heard in the Constitutional Court on 20 March.

Click here to view the official press release.

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