Chapter I | Western Cape Government

Chapter I


1.   Definitions.--In this Act, unless the context otherwise indicates--

"Basic Conditions of Employment Act" means the Basic Conditions of Employment Act, 1997 (Act No. 75 of 1997);

"black people" is a generic term which means Africans, Coloureds and Indians;

"CCMA" means the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration, established by section 112 of the Labour Relations Act;

"code of good practice" means a document issued by the Minister in terms of section 54;

"collective agreement" means a written agreement concerning terms and conditions of employment or any other matter of mutual interest concluded by one or more registered trade unions, on the one hand and, on the other hand--

  1. one or more employers;
  2. one or more registered employers' organisations; or
  3. one or more employers and one or more registered employers' organisations;

"Commission" means the Commission for Employment Equity, established by section 28;

"Constitution" means the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996 (Act No. 108 of 1996);

"designated employer" means--

  1. a person who employs 50 or more employees;
  2. a person who employs fewer than 50 employees but has a total annual turnover that is equal to or above the applicable annual turnover of a small business in terms of the Schedule 4 of this Act;
  3. a municipality, as referred to in Chapter 7 of the Constitution;
  4. an organ of state as defined in section 239 of the Constitution, but excluding local spheres of government, the National Defence Force, the National Intelligence Agency and the South African Secret Service; and
  5. an employer bound by collective agreement in terms of section 23 or 31 of the Labour Relations Act, which appoints it as a designated employer in terms of this Act, to the extent provided for in the agreement.

"designated groups" means black people, women and people with disabilities;

"Director-General" means the Director-General of the Department of Labour;

"dismissal" has the meaning assigned to it in section 186 of the Labour Relations Act;

"dispute" includes an alleged dispute;

"employee" means any person other than an independent contractor who--

  1. works for another person or for the State and who receives, or is entitled to receive, any remuneration; and
  2. in any manner assists in carrying on or conducting the business of an employer,

and "employed" and "employment" have corresponding meanings;

"employment law" means any provision of this Act or any of the following Acts:

  1. The Unemployment Insurance Act, 1966 (Act No. 30 of 1966);
  2. the Guidance and Placement Act, 1981 (Act No. 62 of 1981);
  3. the Manpower Training Act, 1981 (Act No. 56 of 1981);
  4. the Occupational Health and Safety Act, 1993 (Act No. 85 of 1993);
  5. the Compensation for Occupational Injuries and Diseases Act, 1993 (Act No. 130 of 1993);
  6. the Labour Relations Act, 1995 (Act No. 66 of 1995);
  7. the Basic Conditions of Employment Act, 1997 (Act No. 75 of 1997);
  8. any other Act, whose administration has been assigned to the Minister.

"employment policy or practice" includes, but is not limited to--

  1. recruitment procedures, advertising and selection criteria;
  2. appointments and the appointment process;
  3. job classification and grading;
  4. remuneration, employment benefits and terms and conditions of employment;
  5. job assignments;
  6. the working environment and facilities;
  7. training and development;
  8. performance evaluation systems;
  9. promotion;
  10. transfer;
  11. demotion;
  12. disciplinary measures other than dismissal; and
  13. dismissal.

"family responsibility" means the responsibility of employees in relation to their spouse or partner, their dependant children or other members of their immediate family who need their care or support;

"HIV" means the Human Immunodeficiency Virus;

"labour inspector" means a person appointed in terms of section 65 of the Basic Conditions of Employment Act;

"Labour Relations Act" means the Labour Relations Act, 1995 (Act No. 66 of 1995);

"medical testing" includes any test, question, inquiry or other means designed to ascertain, or which has the effect of enabling the employer to ascertain, whether an employee has any medical condition;

"Minister" means the Minister of Labour;

"NEDLAC" means the National Economic, Development and Labour Council established by section 2 of the National Economic, Development and Labour Council Act, 1994 (Act No. 35 of 1994);

"organ of state" means an organ of state as defined in section 239 of the Constitution;

"people with disabilities" means people who have a long-term or recurring physical or mental impairment which substantially limits their prospects of entry into, or advancement in, employment;

"pregnancy" includes intended pregnancy, termination of pregnancy and any medical circumstances related to pregnancy;

"prescribed" means prescribed by a regulation made under section 55;

"public service" means the public service referred to in section 1 (1) of the Public Service Act, 1994 (promulgated by Proclamation No. 103 of 1994), and includes any organisational component contemplated in section 7 (4) of that Act and specified in the first column of Schedule 2 to that Act, but excluding--

  1. the National Defence Force;
  2. the National Intelligence Agency; and
  3. the South African Secret Service.

"reasonable accommodation" means any modification or adjustment to a job or to the working environment that will enable a person from a designated group to have access to or participate or advance in employment;

"registered employers' organisation" means an employers' organisation as defined in section 213 of the Labour Relations Act and registered in terms of section 96 of that Act;

"registered trade union" means a trade union as defined in section 213 of the Labour Relations Act and registered in terms of section 96 of that Act;

"remuneration" means any payment in money or in kind, or both in money and in kind, made or owing to any person in return for that person working for any other person, including the State;

"representative trade union" means a registered trade union, or two or more registered trade unions acting jointly, that are sufficiently representative of the employees employed by an employer in a workplace;

"Republic" means the Republic of South Africa as defined in the Constitution;

"serve" or "submit", in relation to any communication, means either--

  1. to send it in writing delivered by hand or registered post; or
  2. to transmit it using any electronic mechanism as a result of which the recipient is capable of printing the communication;

"suitably qualified person" means a person contemplated in sections 20 (3) and (4);

"this Act" includes any regulations made under section 55, but excludes any footnote;

"trade union representative" means a member of a registered trade union who is elected to represent employees in a workplace;

"workplace forum" means a workplace forum established in terms of Chapter V of the Labour Relations Act.

2.   Purpose of this Act.--The purpose of this Act is to achieve equity in the workplace by--

  1. promoting equal opportunity and fair treatment in employment through the elimination of unfair discrimination; and
  2. implementing affirmative action measures to redress the disadvantages in employment experienced by designated groups, in order to ensure their equitable representation in all occupational categories and levels in the workforce.

3.   Interpretation of this Act.--This Act must be interpreted--

  1. in compliance with the Constitution;
  2. so as to give effect to its purpose;
  3. taking into account any relevant code of good practice issued in terms of this Act or any other employment law; and
  4. in compliance with the international law obligations of the Republic, in particular those contained in the International Labour Organisation Convention (No. 111) concerning Discrimination in Respect of Employment and Occupation.

4.   Application of this Act.--(1)  Chapter II of this Act applies to all employees and employers.

(2)  Except where Chapter III provides otherwise, Chapter III of this Act applies only to designated employers and people from designated groups.

(3)  This Act does not apply to members of the National Defence Force, the National Intelligence Agency, or the South African Secret Service1.

The content on this page was last updated on 28 August 2013