Employment equity in tertiary education: The pitfalls of fast-tracking academics
During 2018, the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) was requested to hold investigation hearings at the University of South Africa (Unisa). The purpose was, among other things, to provide solutions to problems relating to the lack of meaningful transformation in employment in the institution. Before the finalisation of the investigation hearings, Unisa management began the process of amending the institution’s Employment Equity plan. This contribution, against the setting of the recommendations made for Unisa, considers the different measures that could be implemented to speed up the transformation of the academic workforce in South African universities. After scrutinising the relevant pedagogic, legal and social implications of the implementation of different affirmative action measures, several potential pitfalls or potentially negative consequences of affirmative action measures not promoting the academic project are identified. It is concluded that developing an individual into a mature academic should not be forced or fast-tracked because of the possible negative consequences for both individuals and the academic project as a whole. Moreover, making academic appointments and promotions without considering crucial factors such as experience, publications and knowledge is bound to have a devastatingly negative impact. Enhancing the skills of employees in the designated groups would appear to be the best way of levelling the academic playing field.
Academy of Science of South Africa. 2010. The PhD study consensus report. https://research.za.assaf. org.za (Accessed 13 March 2019).
ASSAf see Academy of Science of South Africa.
Bozzoli, Opinionista Belinda. 2018. What happens when universities start to decay: The case of Unisa. Daily Maverick (13 November 2018). https://www.dailymaverick.co.za/opinionista/2018-11-13-what-happens-when-universities-start-to-decay-the-case-of-unisa/ (Accessed 13 March 2019).
Burger, Abrie. 2017. Unisa se personeel in regte se hoop min. Rapport 30 Julie 2017, 9.
CLAW see College of Law.
College of Law. 2016‒2020. EE plan.
Department of Labour. 2017. Code of good practice on the preparation, implementation and monitoring of the EE plan. 2017. AK 393 SK 40817 of 28 April 2017. http//www.gponline.co.za (accessed 13 March 2019).
Department of Labour. 2017–2018. Commission for Employment Equity. 17th Annual Report 2016–2017. http://www.labour.gov.za/DOL/documents/annual-reports/Commission%20for%20Employment%20Equity%20Report/2016-2017/commission-for-employment-equity-report-2016-2017 (accessed 13 March 2019).
Du Plessis, J. V. and M. A. Fouché. 2015. A practical guide to labour law. 8th Edition. LexisNexis.
Festinger, L. 1957. The theory of cognitive dissonance. California: Stanford University Press.
Geldenhuys, J. 2018. ‘n Oorweging van verskeie aspekte rakende die prerogatief om werknemers nie te bevorder nie. Litnet Akademies – Regte 15(1).
Gnade, Jeanette. 2018. Unisa: Kleur of meriete. Maroela media 11 May 2018. https://maroelamedia. co.za/debat/meningsvormers/unisa-kleur-of-meriete/ (Accessed 13 March 2019).
Hadley, Debbie. 2017. Life cycle of butterflies and moths. Animals and nature. https://www.thoughtco. com/life-cycle-of-butterflies-and-moths-1968208 (Accessed 13 March 2019).
Maistry, S. M. 2017. Betwixt and between: Liminality and dissonance in developing threshold competences for research supervision in South Africa. South African Journal of Higher Education 31(1): 119‒134.
Parliamentary Monitoring Group. 2018. Transformation at public universities in South Africa. SAHRC report Higher education and training. https://pmg.org.za/committee-meeting/26226/ (Accessed 13 March 2019).
SAHRC see South African Human Rights Commission.
South African Human Rights Commission. 2016. SAHRC report: Transformation at public universities in South Africa. https:14//www.sahrc.org.za/home/21/files/SAHRC%20Report%20-%20 Transformation%20in%20Public%20Universities%20in%20South%20Africa.pdf (Accessed 13 March 2019).
South African Human Rights Commission. 2018a. Media advisory: South Africa Human Rights (Gauteng provincial office) reconvenes an investigative hearing into allegations of unfair discrimination, racism, sexism and harassment at Unisa. 12 March 2018. https://www.sahrc.org.za/ (Accessed 13 March 2019).
South African Human Rights Commission. 2018b. Final SAHRC report. Investigation into allegations of racial tension, unfair discrimination and harassment at Unisa. Ref No GP/1718/0451.
South African Human Rights Commission. 2018c. Terms of reference. Terms of Reference as amended on 20 and 21 February 2018 for investigation hearing relating to the UNISA College of Law.
Strauss, E. 2006. Generiese riglyne vir die implementering van gelyke geleenthede by ’n groep nie-aangewese werknemers. MCom in Human Resources Management dissertation, University of Pretoria. http://repository.up.ac.za/handle/2263/23205 (Accessed 13 March 2019).
Ulster University. 2019. https://www.timeshighereducation.com/unijobs (Accessed 13 March 2019).
United Nations Human Rights Commission (UNHRC). 1969. Status of ratification, Reservations and declarations – South Africa. https://www.ohchr.org/en/professionalinterest/pages/cerd.aspx (Accessed 13 March 2019).
Vice, S. 2015. Dignity and equality in Barnard. (VII) Constitutional Court Review. https://www.constitutionalcourtreview.co.za/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/Dignity-and-Equality-CCR-VII-2015.pdf (Accessed 13 March 2019).
Waghid, Y. 2015. Are doctoral studies in South African higher education being put at risk? South African Journal of Higher Education 29(5): 1‒19.
Du Preez v Minister of Justice and Constitutional Development 2006 (3) All SA 271 (SE)
Gordon v Department of Health, KwaZulu-Natal  7 BLLR 708 (AH)
Lotter v SA Police Service 2005 (26) ILJ 578 (BCA)
McInnes v Technikon Natal  6 BLLR 701 (LC)
Monyakeni v SA Police Service 2008 (29) ILJ 3111 (BCA)
Ncane v Lyster (2017) 38 ILJ 907 (LAC)
PSA v Minister of Justice (1997) 18 ILJ 241 (T)
SAPS v Solidarity obo Barnard (Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union as Amicus Curiae) 2014 (6) SA 123 (CC)
SAPS v Zandberg 2010 (2) BLLR 194 (A)
Solidarity obo Barnard v South African Police Service 2014 (2) SA 1 (SCA)
Solidarity and Others v Department of Correctional Services and Others 2016 (5) SA 594 (CC)
Stoman v Minister of Safety and Security 2002 (3) SA 468 (T)
Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996.
Employment Equity Act 55 of 1998 (EEA).
Higher Education Act 101 of 1997.
Higher Education Amendment Act 9 of 2016.
International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, 1969.
This journal is an open access journal, and the authorsÂ and journal should be properly acknowledged, when works are cited.
Authors, copyright holders, may use the publishers version for teaching purposes, in books, theses, dissertations, conferences and conference papers.Â
A copy of the authors' publishers version may also be hosted on the following websites:
- Non-commercial personal homepage or blog.
- Institutional webpage.
- Authors Institutional Repository.
The following notice should accompany such a posting on the website: This is an electronic version of an article published in SAJHE, Volume XXX, number XXX, pages XXX “XXX", DOI. Authors should also supply a hyperlink to the original paper or indicate where the original paper (http://www.journals.ac.za/index.php/SAJHE) may be found.
Authors publishers version, affiliated with the Stellenbosch University will be automatically deposited in the University Institutional Repository SUNScholar.
Articles as a whole, may not be re-published with another journal.
The following license applies:
Attribution CC BY-NC-ND 4.0