Transformation makes real business sense

Transformation makes real business sense

CCMA public lecture: Mr Victor Mashilwane is VUT’s Employment Equity Practitioner at the Social Justice and Transformation Department

Qhawekazi Memani

The Vaal University of Technology Social Justice and Transformation Unit, in collaboration with the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA), hosted a gathering titled: “Discrimination in the workplace: real transformation makes business sense” on 31 October at the VUT auditorium 100, Vanderbijlpark Campus.

The aim of the event was to tackle the issues of unfair discrimination in the workplace, raise awareness within the context of the South African Employment Equity Act and to share examples that illustrate the matter.

“Discrimination is a broad concept. We need to look at it at a point when it is unfair and what can be done. With thoughts that we all experience it one way or another and which affects all directly or indirectly,” said Wiseman Jack; Director International Relations Office, in his welcoming address.

“When we talk discrimination in the workplace, we talk transformation, bearing in mind that there is resistance to transformation in society. We need to transform and for transformation to make sense, society needs to be transformed and real transformation makes business sense. To be able to deal with different forms of discrimination, one needs to first be aware of one’s own prejudice and own up to it. If this can be mastered the world will be a better place. We need to acknowledge as well that we are a country with a past; at the heart of the Constitution there is equality,” said a CCMA Senior Commissioner, Ms Joyce Nkopane.


On a transformed workplace she had this to say, “ a workplace is not transformed just because it has a more diverse looking workforce, rather a workplace is transformed when it has taken , inter alia, corrective measures to understand and change discriminatory attitudes, discriminatory action  and prejudicial behaviour.”

In her presentation she also spoke among other issues about the rights to equality, unfair discrimination, sexual harassment, equal pay for work of equal value, dispute resolutions affecting employers and employees in a workplace.

She furthermore shared illustrations relating to the matter and opened a platform for the attendees to ask questions. She concluded by sharing Nelson Mandela’s quote: “It’s not about who your employees are; it’s about what they can become in the future”.

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