Query: Most employees at Sunshine Private School are foreigners; what is the duty of the Employment Equity Commission?
Firstly, the Employment Equity Commission (EEC) would like to acknowledge the public for keeping a watchful eye on the operations of employers with regard to the implementation of affirmative action. The EEC is entrusted with a function of ensuring the implementation of affirmative action at the workplace in order to redress the legacy of apartheid discrimination in employment as envisaged in the Affirmative Action (Employment) Act, No. 29 of 1998.
Expatriates (foreigners) working in Namibia are granted work permits by the Ministry of Home Affairs and Immigration. An employer who employs an expatriate is required by law to appoint a Namibian understudy for every non-Namibian employed with the intention of transferring skills to such understudies. Regarding the issue of Sunshine Private School employing foreigners (or any other employer employing foreigners), the EEC hopes that the employer has complied with the provisions of the Act regarding the preferential consideration of Namibian citizens before expatriates are appointed. The EEC further trusts that the Ministry of Home Affairs and Immigration only grants work permits to expatriates when it is satisfied that employers complied with all the laws of the Republic of Namibia.
The EEC conducted an inspection at Sunshine Private School and it was established that it has been a relevant employer (employing more than 25 employees) since January 2014. All relevant employers are required to submit their Affirmative Action Report to EEC annually. Therefore, the Office of the Employment Equity Commissioner pressed charges against Sunshine Private School for failing to comply with the provision of section 27 of the Affirmative Action (Employment) Act, No. 29 of 1998) Act which requires relevant employers to submit their annual Affirmative Action Reports to EEC.
Thus, the school was instructed to submit its Affirmative Action Report to the EEC, which they were supposed to have done in 2014 when it became a relevant employer. The EEC will only then be able to act within its mandate in order to determine whether Sunshine Private School has appointed understudies once it submits its first Affirmative Action
Report to EEC.
• Ms Maria N. Hedimbi, Chief Public Relations Officer, Ministry of Labour, Industrial Relations and Employment Creation, Email Address: email@example.com