South Africa has unfortunately inherited a work environment based on an economic system characterised by deprivation, political instability, adversarial labour relations, cheap migrant labour, and massive income and wealth disparities. The world of work is also characterised by an appalling systematic discrimination against Blacks, women, and people with disabilities. Affirmative action has been the only policy instrument used by the Democratic South Africa to redress the past imbalances. In line with the Employment Equity Act No. 55 of 1998, the beneficiaries of this action are mainly African women (Blacks, Coloured, and Indians including disabled people). This has been justified by the fact that they were subjected to innumerable forms of discrimination and bias in the past. The policies of Affirmative Action are a system of political tools used to level the playing field. They focus on policies and strategies needed to redress past racial imbalances in the workplace, education, gender equality, and the like. This paper examines the strategy of Affirmative Action in South Africa harnessed to redress past wrongs and its effectiveness in so doing.

Author Biography

V. Naidoo, School of Business Management, University of Kwazulu-Natal, Westville Campus, South Africa

M. Kongolo, School of Economics, University of Kwazulu-Natal, Westville Campus, South Africa