Companies face affirmative action troubles

Companies face affirmative action troubles

MORE than 150 Namibian companies could be dragged to court after the Employment Equity Commission laid criminal charges against them for failing to comply with the law.

Youth Minister John Mutorwa informed the National Assembly yesterday that the EEC had identified 213 cases of non-compliance in its latest report, of which 155 cases were opened with the Police. Sadly, none of the companies has been brought to book to date, he said.”We shouldn’t be seen as helpless.We have the law but with certain limitations.Let us strengthen the hand of the institutions we have created to deal with the issues,” Mutorwa said during the debate dealing with slow progress of the implementation of affirmative action in Namibia.Congress of Democrats leader Ben Ulenga tabled a motion to debate the “lack of progress in affirmative action programmes”.Mutorwa said Parliament was partly to blame, as it had been receiving reports from the EEC but had not acted on them.”Let us forward the (latest) report of the EEC to a standing committee to make further recommendations.We all agree that there are certain limitations,” he said.In his motivation, Ulenga said some companies paid lip service to the implementation of Affirmative Action (AA) while others simply refused to comply with the laws.Apart from the public service, tourism and hospitality industries, Ulenga said many companies in the private sector have “not only remained male and white, it has become more dominantly so”.”In many of the positions where decisions regarding change are supposed to be made and where change is expected to be effected, no change is occurring.The same stagnation infects just too many middle management and professional occupations at many companies in the private sector,” Ulenga said.He said some of the “old traditional Namibian companies” have no single black person, woman or disabled person in their executive, senior and middle management.Many others, he said, employed blacks for window dressing.He said the law, in its present form, was ineffective and the EEC needed more powers.DTA’s McHenry Venaani adjourned the discussion until today.Sadly, none of the companies has been brought to book to date, he said.”We shouldn’t be seen as helpless.We have the law but with certain limitations.Let us strengthen the hand of the institutions we have created to deal with the issues,” Mutorwa said during the debate dealing with slow progress of the implementation of affirmative action in Namibia.Congress of Democrats leader Ben Ulenga tabled a motion to debate the “lack of progress in affirmative action programmes”.Mutorwa said Parliament was partly to blame, as it had been receiving reports from the EEC but had not acted on them.”Let us forward the (latest) report of the EEC to a standing committee to make further recommendations.We all agree that there are certain limitations,” he said.In his motivation, Ulenga said some companies paid lip service to the implementation of Affirmative Action (AA) while others simply refused to comply with the laws.Apart from the public service, tourism and hospitality industries, Ulenga said many companies in the private sector have “not only remained male and white, it has become more dominantly so”.”In many of the positions where decisions regarding change are supposed to be made and where change is expected to be effected, no change is occurring.The same stagnation infects just too many middle management and professional occupations at many companies in the private sector,” Ulenga said.He said some of the “old traditional Namibian companies” have no single black person, woman or disabled person in their executive, senior and middle management.Many others, he said, employed blacks for window dressing.He said the law, in its present form, was ineffective and the EEC needed more powers.DTA’s McHenry Venaani adjourned the discussion until today.

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