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Affirmative action violators to face criminal charges

2019-08-15  Edgar Brandt

Affirmative action violators to face criminal charges

WINDHOEK – Looking at the last three years it is apparent that the timely submission of Affirmative Action (AA) reports by relevant employers remains a challenge. Relevant employers are required to submit AA reports every 12 months, however, many employers fail to submit reports on time or at all. 

According to the recently released First Quarter Report of the 2019/2020 financial year by the Ministry of Labour, Industrial Relations and Employment Creation, a total of 221 AA reports were submitted in the first quarter of the 2017/2018 financial year while a total of 231 AA reports were received by the Employment Equity Commission during 2018/2019, and only 210 AA reports were received in the first quarter of this financial year. 

“In addition to the extensive stakeholder engagement sessions which the Commission has embarked on, it developed a Non-Compliance Mitigation System which will not only be focusing on laying criminal charges against non-compliant relevant employers but also among others, constantly reminding them to submit their reports on time. Cases will, however, be laid against relevant employers who will continue violating the provisions of the Act,” read the report.  

A total number of 202 Affirmative Action reports (below the set target of 257) were reviewed during the first quarter of the current financial year. However, 249 AA reports, which in total covered about 22 751 employees (below the set target of 70 000), were reviewed and recommended for approval. This is inclusive of 47 reports that were carried over from the fourth quarter of the previous financial year. A total number of 200 Affirmative Action reports out of the 212 which were reviewed and recommended and/or brought before the Commission meeting were approved. The remaining 37 were deferred to the next quarter. 

“About 462 non-Namibian employees covered by the reports which were received, reviewed and/or recommended during quarter one were being understudied. This is, however, above the set target of 425 and not in line with the decremental intent of the KPI (key performance indicators) and the desired state where the Employment Equity Commission would like to see more Namibians taking up employment with various relevant employers. This is leading to a decreasing number of non-Namibian employees employed by such employers,” the report stated. 

The report further states that the Commission identified the serious need for electronic submission of AA reports in view of the already functioning Case Management System, which only requires some adjustments to be able to adopt electronic reports. The submission of reports electronically is expected to ensure timely submission, quick turn-around times, accuracy of information and the ability to prepare the annual report timeously. The groundwork for the full design, development and implementation of this system was laid during the first quarter of this financial year. 

Furthermore, the report outlines that the receipt and processing of non-relevant applications was the second biggest activity next to AA Report Review undertaking by the Commission on a daily basis. Employers with 24 and less employees approached the Commission on a daily basis to apply for confirmation of non-relevant employer status mostly for tendering purposes. During the first quarter the Commission dealt with 2858 of such applications.  

“A number of business processes were identified for re-engineering purpose in order to improve efficiency and service delivery. Process review was done during this quarter, while the remaining quarters will focus on the introduction of a few process and system improvements. The Commission has thus far changed its business identity (letterhead) and improved the various correspondence to its stakeholders,” the report said. 

2019-08-15  Edgar Brandt

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