Management perceptions of employment equity at the automotive manufacturing plant.
The implementation of the Employment Equity Act (EEA) No. 55 of 1998 is a crucial factor in promoting equal employment opportunities and the fair treatment of people in the workplace. South Africa has an economically active population which is not sufficiently represented in the workplace due to the inequalities of the employment practices during the apartheid regime. The purpose of the study was to test the management at a motor manufacturing plant’s perceptions of Employment Equity (EE) and the implementation thereof. A sample of convenience consisting of over 40 respondents at middle management level from various departments was sought. A 26-item Employment Equity Questionnaire using the five point Likert scale was used to explore the employment equity process. It was decided not to make reference to race and gender in terms of findings. Respondents were unsure that the implementation of employment equity in the workplace was responsible for the “brain drain” in the country. Responses indicated that the majority agreed that the Employment Equity Act has provided many with the opportunity for promotion and development in the workplace. Furthermore, there is opportunity for development and sufficient programmes within the organisation to support the achievement of that development. Management felt that they were not equipped with sufficient knowledge to deal with the implementation of the equity laws. Research also showed that there is still a shortfall in the representation of females in the automotive industry. The study makes various recommendations for improving the pace and status of the implementation of employment equity. The responsibility for Compliance with the Employment Equity Act lies with the HR Department of the Company. It is within their realm of responsibility to ensure that all programmes within the organisation are linked to creating awareness of the Employment Equity Act and to ensure that its objectives are implemented within the organisation. In addition, particular scrutiny must be given to keeping an audit of progress of these programmes. As Human Resource is also the custodian of the recruitment process of the company, it needs to prioritise and drive the employment and promotion of females within the organisation.