As the world navigates what the new every day looks like, everyone seeks ways to create a more equitable and inclusive society. South Africa has taken some inspiring steps in their legislation to prioritize diversity and inclusion now and in the future.
From creating protection laws that penalize those who perpetuate discrimination or abuse to embracing open collaboration between government bodies and civil society organizations, we can learn much from South African law when fostering a fairer society.
This blog post will discuss how South Africa has implemented changes, allowing its citizens great potential for upward mobility.
Laws Promoting Diversity and Inclusion in South Africa
South Africa has a robust legal framework that promotes diversity and inclusion. These laws address the historical legacy of discrimination and promote social justice, equality, and human rights for all South Africans.
1. Constitution of South Africa
The South African Constitution is the cornerstone of the legal framework promoting diversity and inclusion. It guarantees fundamental human rights and protections against discrimination based on gender, age, sexual orientation, religion, and other grounds.
2. Employment Equity Act
Equal employment opportunity and non-discriminatory treatment of members of protected classes, such as Blacks, women, and people with disabilities, are central goals of this legislation.
Affirmative action programs are mandatory under the Act and are meant to compensate for discrimination in the past.
3. Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment Act
This Act aims to promote economic transformation and empower historically disadvantaged groups, particularly Black people, by increasing their ownership, management, and control of the economy.
The Act requires businesses to comply with a BEE scorecard that measures their level of compliance with various empowerment criteria.
4. Promotion of Equality and Prevention of Unfair Discrimination Act
This Act prohibits unfair discrimination on various grounds and provides remedies for victims of discrimination. The Act establishes the Equality Court, which is responsible for adjudicating cases of unfair discrimination.
Examples Of How Diversity and Inclusion Are Prioritized in South African Law
South African law prioritizes diversity and inclusion in several ways. Here are some examples of how this is done:
1. Employment Equity Plans
Employers must develop and implement employment equity plans that identify barriers to equal employment opportunities and outline measures to address them.
These plans should also set targets for recruiting, training, and promoting employees from designated groups, including black people, women, and people with disabilities.
2. Preferential Procurement
The Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment Act requires businesses to give preference to suppliers that are majority-owned by historically disadvantaged groups, particularly black people.
This helps to increase the participation of these groups in the economy and creates opportunities for them to grow their businesses.
3. Black Economic Empowerment Scorecard
The BEE scorecard measures a company’s level of compliance with various empowerment criteria, including ownership, management, skills development, enterprise development, and socioeconomic development.
Companies that score higher on the BEE scorecard are more likely to win government contracts and do business with other companies that prioritize BEE compliance.
4. Promotion of Diversity and Equality Training:
The Promotion of Equality and Prevention of Unfair Discrimination Act requires employers to train employees on diversity and equality. This helps to raise awareness of the importance of diversity and inclusion and promotes a culture of respect and tolerance in the workplace. For more information regarding global compliance and international employment laws, visit Global People Strategist and schedule a demo to see how our platform and tools can support your business.