An analysis of the sexual orientation discrimination framework in the public sector : the case of Stellenbosch Municipality

Opperman, Theo (2009-03)

Thesis (MA (Public and Development Management))--University of Stellenbosch, 2009.


Sexual orientation (discrimination) as a part of diversity management in organisations is a controversial issue and people in management positions are not always comfortable to address issues relating to gay employees. This is evident from the lack of adequate policies and processes that exist within public organs. Ignorance and prejudice, heterosexism and homophobia, religious and moral beliefs and stigmatisation contribute to why employees discriminate against their co-workers based on sexual orientation. The following measures can be taken by the organisation in combating this phenomenon: • Writing anti-discriminatory statements. • Re-evaluating the current state of the organisational culture and whether it is supportive of gay employees disclosing their sexual orientation at work. • Developing an employee assistance programme. The success of these measures will largely depend on the capacity of the Human Resource department in making the organisation more inclusive. Therefore, the Integrated Development Plan of Stellenbosch Municipality as its organisational strategy plays a vital role in this entire process, as it cannot be separated from the Human Resource management strategy of this organisation. These initiatives will only be effective and efficient if there is commitment from top management as well as the employees to ensure a safe work environment for lesbian, gay and bisexual employees.

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