The terms of the settlement were confidential, SANBS human resources executive Abbey Mothokoa said. “[The matter] didn’t even go to trial… The agreement was made an order of the court. Whatever we do will be in compliance with the Employment Equity Act.”
Solidarity instituted legal proceedings against SANBS on behalf of two white employees who were prevented from applying for promotion on the grounds of their race.
Deputy general secretary Dirk Hermann said in a statement: “During the negotiations the blood service gave its assurance that vacancies would be open to all applicants in future.”
This undertaking was central to the Labour Court’s order, he said. The Employment Equity Act did not provide for quotas or promotion ceilings.
“We trust that this order of the court will send a message to other employers as well,” Hermann said.
SANBS CEO Loyiso Mpuntsha said last year the organisation had adopted a “space creation” strategy, targeting middle to senior management to allow it to address employment equity gaps at these levels.
“Outside of this, SANBS applies the standard recruitment process, which allows for any suitably skilled and qualified applicants to apply for any vacancy,” he said at the time.
“Although this process may be uncomfortable to accept by some, SANBS strives to and will continue to comply with legislation and the Bill of Rights as enshrined in our Constitution.”
On Wednesday, Hermann said in a statement that Solidarity had asked for the racial demographics of SANBS blood donors, but SANBS refused. The trade union believed, however, that around three-quarters of blood donors were white.
“We believe the blood service should take the demographics of its blood donors into consideration when appointing personnel.”