Quick Guide to Employment Equity in South Africa - ReyPath Solutions
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At the beginning of every year, qualifying South African Companies submit their Equity reports to the South African Labour Department. (qualifying criteria listed in “Who Needs to Submit Equity”)

Employment equity is important in the workplace and in our nation. This article will give a clear overview of the important aspects of the Employment Equity Act.

Purpose of the Employment Equity Act (EEA)

The Purpose of the Employment Equity Act [No. 55 of 1998] (labour.gov.za) (EEA) is to create fairness in the workplace through equal opportunity and fair treatment. The EEA assists in eliminating unfair treatment and any form of discrimination by an employer, such as:

• race,
• gender,
• pregnancy,
• marital status,
• family responsibility,
• ethnic or social origin,
• colour,
• sexual orientation,
• age,
• disability,
• religion,
• HIV status,
• conscience,
• belief,
• political opinion,
• culture,
• language, and
• birth.

According to the EEA, it is not discriminatory to prefer or exclude any person based on the job requirement.

The EEA has been implemented to redress past injustices through affirmative action measures, which ensure that previously disadvantaged groups can now be equally represented in all occupational categories and levels in the workforce.

The act does not apply to the South African National Defence Force, National Intelligence Agency, and South African Secret Services.

Who Needs to submit Equity?

You are required to submit your Equity to the Labour department if you employ 50 or more employees or reach the annual turnover threshold of your industry.

Annual turnover threshold


Sector or subsectors by the Standard Industrial Classification Total Annual Turnover
Agriculture R6 million
Mining and Quarrying R22.5 million
Manufacturing R30 million
Electricity, Gas and Water R30 million
Construction R15 million
Retail and Motor Trade and Repair Services R45 million
Wholesale Trade, Commercial Agents and Allied Services R75 million
Catering, Accommodation and other Trade R15 million
Transport, Storage and Communications R30 million
Finance and Business Services R30 million
Community, Special and Personal Services R15 million


How to Submit your Employment Equity

Each Company will have at least one designated employee known as the Equity Manager, usually, the HR Manager, who will analyse their workforce and submit the annual submission to the Labour Department through an online portal.

Each year you will receive a reminder letter that contains instructions and a link for your submission. Unfortunately, failure to comply may result in a fine.


When to Submit Equity?

The Employment Equity opens on September 1 and Closes on January 15 the following year. This allows a total of 4.5 months to submit.

Best Practices For Preparing your Equity Submission

The EEA Requires companies to have the Equity Manager and Employment Equity Team meet four times a year to ensure they are on track with their equity plan.

Equity is important for South Africa; therefore, a well-prepared submission can ensure accuracy and compliance.  To do so, you can draw an Equity list and Workforce Report. Then thoroughly check that all the current information on the system is accurate, and update any incorrect information.

After this process, your submission information will be ready.

The Most Important forms to understand are the EEA2 and EEA4.

Find all forms at Forms (labour.gov.za)

EEA2 – This form enables employers to comply with Section 21 of the Employment Equity Act. This form contains the format for employment equity reporting by designated employers to the Department of Labour.


EEA4 – The objective of the EEA4 Form is to collect information to assess the remuneration gap between the highest-paid and lowest-paid employees and, at the same time, to assess inequalities in remuneration regarding race and gender in the various occupational levels.

Need Help With Your Employment Equity?

Want to Keep Up to Date?

South Africa’s Amended Employment Equity Act Likely to Take Effect in 2023

South Africa’s Amended Employment Equity Act Likely to Take Effect in 2023 (shrm.org)