Kouga ‘whites’ job ad criticised

“White males and females are especially encouraged to apply.”

These are the words in a job advertisement by the Kouga Municipality which raised eyebrows and saw the local authority having to defend itself against a barrage of criticism yesterday.

In its search for 16 general workers, the Kouga Municipality said on its website that it was an “equal opportunity employer which subscribes to the principle of affirmative action”.

However, immediately below its declaration, it encouraged white men and women from the region to apply for the jobs.

The jobs come with an annual pay package of between R79 428 and R93 756.

There is nothing untoward about the advertisement, according to Kouga mayor Elza van Lingen, who said it was all in the interest of balancing the municipality’s employment equity figures.

She said there were 148 African men, 117 coloured men, 67 African women and 49 coloured women who were all employed in general worker positions.

None of the general worker jobs were filled by white people.

“We want to get to the balance of equity . . . because currently, there are zero white males and females in the general workers categories.

“We have not done anything wrong. We are simply saying that white males and females are also asked to apply for these jobs.

“But having said that, the best man or woman for the job who is fit for the purpose will get the job.”

She said the council recently approved the municipality’s threeyear employment equity plan, which was based on figures from Statistics South Africa for economically active people in the Kouga region.

“The plan was approved by the council and it was unanimously accepted,” Van Lingen said.

Breaking down the statistics for the different racial groups employed by the municipality, Van Lingen said the figures showed that:

• African men make up 22.5% of the workforce;

• African women make up 26%;

• Coloured men comprise 23.9% of the staff;

• Coloured women are 20.7%;

• White men make up 2.3%; and

• White women comprise 4.5% of the total staff complement.

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