An evaluation of the implementation of affirmative action : a case study, Department of the Premier, KwaZulu-Natal

Dlamini, Christophine Nombuso (2001-12)

Thesis (MPA)--Stellenbosch University, 2001.


This research aims to evaluate the implementation of the affirmative action policy in the KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Administration and the department of the Premier has been selected for this purpose. The researcher was motivated by the desire to establish how Employment Equity Act, Act 55 of 1998 is implemented in the department of the Premier. The researcher is of the opinion that this department remains predominantly white and male staffed and therefore, has not complied with the desires, aspirations and the spirit of the new democratic South Africa. The purpose of the study is therefore to determine whether the department of the Premier in KwaZulu-Natal is predominantly white and male and whether there is any significant move towards normalising the situation in terms of our new legislation. A desk study, based on personnel records was used to qualify the gender and race disparities. A combination of a literature study and a structured interview survey methodology was used to determine the practice implications of the policy. Data was collected through a questionnaire that was distributed to all strata of the department in order to determine how affirmative action was perceived and understood by employees. This would determine whether they utilize the opportunity to improve themselves by applying for senior positions that are advertised in the department of the Premier as well as other departments in the provrnce. The research found that although the department has embarked on a programme of affirmative action, a number of issues still need to be addressed before it can be successfully implemented. These included: no affirmative action policy document for the department as an independent entity has been formulated to cater for its unique needs. no affirmative action strategy exists to address fears and concerns of top management, especially white managers, who seem to dominate the upper stratum of the department. no communication strategy to ensure that information on affirmative action filters down to all strata of the department. no proper monitoring mechanism in place that will enable the department to pick up mistakes and rectify' them timeously before damage is done. The researcher arrived at the conclusion that embarking on affirmative action means more than opening up access and promoting a few individuals merely on grounds of affirmative action. If affirmative action is accepted as a means of redressing past discrimination, then it is important for all employees of the department to work towards the achievement of this goal. The research assignment is also aimed at ensuring that employees in the department of the Premier in particular and other KwaZulu-Natal provincial departments in general, are a reflection of the demographics of the society they serve. It is further important to say that we form a customer friendly public service.

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