The SA Human Rights Commission in the Western Cape has found that discrimination against coloured applicants at the Labour Department’s offices in Mitchells Plain constituted a human rights violation that must be further investigated by its national office.

A Cape Argus report says the commission conducted an investigation after a complaint laid by the organisation Gatvol Capetonians that coloured people were overlooked by the department when they applied for 46 posts last year.

Gatvol president Fadiel Adams claimed about 1 000 coloured candidates from the community applied but were not considered or short-listed. Their applications were handed in at the Mitchells Plain office and put in a box. However, commissioner Chris Nissen pointed out that no explanation was given by the department to the 1 000 applicants about the box and what transpired.

Nissen conducted various interviews and visited the offices of the department. The investigation took place in February and March.

It is not justifiable to appoint all 46 from one group and that not even one person was appointed from the Mitchells Plain community. Even from the 46, only two were appointed in the Mitchells Plain office,’ Nissen said.

The commission can only conclude that the 46 appointed in one grouping undermines the rights of others in Mitchells Plain and therefore constitutes an alleged human rights violation. It will now recommend that the commission makes a thorough investigation into these practices in the provincial Labour Department.

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