Following the amendments to the Employment Equity Act, 1998 ("EEA") enacted in April 2023, and an extremely contentious first round of public comment on the proposed sectoral targets shortly thereafter, the Department of Employment and Labour has released the proposed sectoral targets again in the form of Draft Regulations on the Proposed Numerical Sectoral Targets ("Draft Regulations").

There are some key changes to the sectoral targets, including overall targets for the designated groups (instead of specific allocations for each individual race group) and guidance on the manner in which the 5-year targets are to be implemented. These changes, at least, address some of the fundamental concerns raised in the previous public submissions. As promised, the Draft Regulations also include the terms of the agreement reached between the Department of Employment and Labour and the trade union, Solidarity, in settling the International Labour Organisation complaint that Solidarity instituted in response to the proposed amendments to the EEA.

The Draft Regulations are open for public comment for a period of 90 days from the date of their publication, 1 February 2024. Employers and stakeholders are encouraged to review the draft sectoral targets and make any representations which they deem fit during the 90-day public comment period.

To learn more about the proposed sectoral targets, read our previous article here.

We encourage all employers to review the circulated sector-specific targets and consider any necessary actions to align with the incoming requirements. It is important to note that compliance with these targets will be crucial in the coming employment equity reporting period as, going forward, compliance with the targets will inform, amongst other things, whether employers are provided with compliance certificates required for the retention of and appointment to state contracts.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.