Employment Equity consultation and planning

22 September 2021 | Emer Prof Martin Hall, Acting DVC: Transformation

Dear colleagues

Our current Employment Equity (EE) Plan expires at the end of December 2021. Together, we have increased the overall representation of employees from the designated groups, as defined in the Employment Equity legislation, from 74% three years ago, to the current 83%. Representivity is expected to improve further through the remaining months of this year, taking us close to the target of 85% which we set for ourselves at the end of 2018.

Significant challenges remain, in particular in achieving our objectives for equitable career progression within our workforce and in recruitment to posts requiring professional qualifications, including senior academic promotions and appointments.

We have decided to make some significant changes in planning and implementing our next EE plan, which we must submit to the Department of Employment and Labour for approval by the end of December. This plan will run for five years instead of three, allowing a stronger focus on equitable career progression. We will also be providing enhanced transparency, with real-time reporting of progress towards targets by each faculty and Professional, Administrative and Support Service (PASS) department.

We are reviewing the important role played by our EE representatives in order to recognise this transformation-related work in their key performance areas and will be introducing mandatory training for all Chairs and members of selection committees. These improvements will provide greater clarity and accountability in the implementation of our university Employment Equity Policy and in meeting our statutory obligations in terms of the Employment Equity Act.

As part of this planning process, we are required to ensure that the information that we hold on each staff member is accurate and up to date. This will be achieved by:

  1. Requesting all staff members to review and update their profiles via the HR employee self-service portal from next month onwards. Also, staff members may use the HR101 personal details form to update their profiles as some changes will have to be submitted using this form. The demographic information staff are requested to review for this purpose includes their gender, ethnic origin, (dis)ability statuses and citizenship.
  2. Conducting a barrier analysis to identify obstacles to employment equity across the university. This will be conducted by Maserumule Corporate Employment Law. Information that you provide for the barrier analysis will only be accessible by Maserumule and will be treated as confidential. All information in the barrier analysis report will be anonymised. Kindly note that the ethical approval for the barrier analysis has been granted by the Faculty of Commerce Ethics Committee. Your participation in the barrier analysis is voluntary.
  3. Initiating consultation to set targets for our new EE plan. This is being conducted by BlackSwan Empowerment. Consultation sessions with faculties and PASS departments will take place over the next six weeks, leading to an EE planning workshop scheduled for 9 November 2021.

Our proposed plan will be submitted to the Institutional Forum, University Human Resources Committee and, from there, to the University Council for approval.

Thank you, in advance, for your participation in this process, and for your continuing commitment to transformation at our university.


Emeritus Professor Martin Hall
Acting Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Transformation

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