Tag Archive | Women Empowerment and Gender Equality Bill.Susan Shabangu

Back comes gender equality bill for re-think

Gender equality bill still on the cards…

The controversial Women Empowerment and Gender Equality Bill was withdrawn by the new minister of women, Susan Shabangu just before the recent short recess in Parliament.   The legislation in its present form would have obliged companies to progressively achieve 50% representation for women in top levels of management.

Business has termed the Bill as having clauses which are impractical, others unenforceable.

The Gender Equality Bill was pushed through the National Assembly (NA) just ahead of the March elections, having been tabled by former minister of women, children and people with disabilities, Lulu Xingwana.    However, President Jacob Zuma had not yet signed the Bill into law and has now obliged minister Shabangu.

She told the portfolio committee on women in the Presidency during her department’s budget vote presentations that the Bill had been tabled without sufficient consultation and would be re-introduced when more consultation had taken place.

Focus to change

susan shabangu2The revised bill would focus less on equal representation between men and women numerically, she said, and added that there had to be mechanisms to achieve “proper and effective representation” and that “excellence” had to be a qualification.

As the flagship project of previous minister Xingwana, the  Women Empowerment and Gender Equality Bill was surprisingly hammered through Parliament with a hefty ANC majority of the last government despite being rejected by all social partners in Nedlac, due to its “vagueness and ambiguity”.

The Bill stipulated that all public and also “designated bodies” nominated by the minister at the time would have to submit plans for progressively achieving 50% representation for women in their decision-making structures.

Criminalisation

The proposed fines are stated as a maximum of 10% of annual turnover for continuous offenders, whilst the directors or CEOs of designated bodies could be liable on conviction to imprisonment for a period not exceeding five years.   The Bill, as presently worded, overrides all other laws dealing with empowerment.

Subsequently, within the NA at final reading, ANC parliamentarians caused a failure to form a quorum, with DA members not attending on principle.  However, later, after ANC party whips applied pressure, it was passed by a small majority of hands.

There was strong opposition from business and industry at public hearings who complained that the Bill, which so heavily criminalised offenders, was at the same time both “impractical”, “unattainable” and “misguided in business terms”.

It was also submitted that there was in many cases no possibility of labour pools to meet such targets in many sectors over the time frame set by the Bill.

Other articles in this category or as background
http://parlyreportsa.co.za//bee/women-empowerment-bill-gets-new-minister/
http://parlyreportsa.co.za//bee/women-empowerment-bill-powered/
http://parlyreportsa.co.za//cabinetpresidential/womens-constitutional-rights-to-be-followed-up-at-law/

Posted in BEE, Facebook and Twitter, Public utilities, Special Recent Posts, Trade & Industry0 Comments


This website is Archival

If you want your publications as they come from Parliament please contact ParlyReportSA directly. All information on this site is posted two weeks after client alert reports sent out.

Upcoming Articles

  1. MPRDA : Shale gas developers not satisfied
  2. Environmental Bill changes EIAs
  3. Border Mangement Bill grinds through Parliament

Earlier Editorials

Earlier Stories

  • Anti Corruption Unit overwhelmed

    Focus on top down elements of patronage  ….editorial….As Parliament went into short recess, the Anti-Corruption Unit, the combined team made up of SARS, Hawks, the National Prosecuting Authority and Justice Department, divulged […]

  • PIC comes under pressure to disclose

    Unlisted investments of PIC queried…. When asked for information on how the Public Investment Corporation (PIC) had invested its funds, Dr  Daniel Matjila, Chief Executive Officer, told parliamentarians that the most […]

  • International Arbitration Bill to replace BITs

    Arbitration Bill gets SA in line with UNCTRAL ….. The tabling of the International Arbitration Bill in Parliament will see ‘normalisation’ on a number of issues regarding arbitration between foreign companies […]

  • Parliament rattled by Sizani departure

    Closed ranks on Sizani resignation….. As South Africa struggles with the backlash of having had three finance ministers rotated in four days and news echoes around the parliamentary precinct that […]

  • Protected Disclosures Bill: employer to be involved

    New Protected Disclosures Bill ups protection…. sent to clients 21 January……The Portfolio Committee on Justice and Constitutional Affairs will shortly be debating the recently tabled Protected Disclosures Amendment Bill which proposes a duty […]