The government’s affirmative action policies are costing the Department of Correctional Services (DCS) dearly.
The last DCS member, who had been overlooked for promotion because of unfair discrimination practices had been appointed with effect from 1 December 2010 and his salary has also been backdated accordingly.
Trade union Solidarity, who has been taking on the DCS to fight its affirmative action policies, announced this morning that the department failed to comply with the 2016 ruling of the Constitutional Court in terms of which seven DCS employees had to be promoted and compensated retroactively. It forced Solidarity to take further steps,
Mr Wehr, one of the seven DCS members, was overlooked for promotion and / or compensation. According to Anton van der Bijl, head of Solidarity’s Centre for Fair Labour Practices, Solidarity had obtained an order for contempt of court. Should Mr Wehr not have been appointed and / or compensated in accordance with the position he was entitled to it would have left Solidarity with no choice but to continue with a case of contempt of court. This case was due to be heard on 21 April 2017.
“Solidarity is pleased indeed that this matter has been resolved successfully after many years of litigation, and that the applicants can finally take their rightful place in the department. However, it is regrettable that the public has been denied the efficient services those officials could have rendered during this period, and all of that just because of the colour of their skin. We believe, though, that the DCS has learnt a costly lesson and has realised that the sole pursuit of racial quotas is unconstitutional. Solidarity is expressing the hope that the department would from now on follow a more nuanced approach to affirmative action in terms of which merit would be the main criterion when it comes to appointments and promotions,” Van der Bijl said.