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On the 23rd – 24th May 2012, the Commission for Gender Equality (CGE) in Cape Town, will host “Employment Equity Commission (EEC) Hearing: Gender Transformation in the Workplace”. In accordance therefore with its powers outlined in the CGE Act, the CGE will draw a sample of Director Generals (DGs) from the public sector and Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) from the private sector, for them to account for the slow pace of gender transformation in the workplace, and inadequate promotion of women with disabilities, gender equality and women empowerment. These hearings will be conducted at Strand Tower Hotel, Cape Town. The purpose of the hearings in part is contained in the CGE Act that compels the Commission as per its monitoring role to hold public hearings with all organs of the state, the private sector and civil society in order to raise awareness regarding these obligations and demand accountability, identify challenges and develop recommendations to ensure the realisation of gender equality in the workplace.

Objectives of the Hearings:

• To assess the impact of the Employment Equity Act (EEA) on women in both the public and private         sector, and address institutional and systematic barriers to their economic progress
• To hold public and private sector Directors accountable for non-compliance with the EEA
• To raise awareness on relevant international commitments and the importance of compliance
• To assess what measures have been put in place in the work place to bring about transformation in terms of gender and disability.
• To share experiences and identify challenges faced by CEOs and Director-Generals in the implementation of the EEA
• To  strengthen the working relationship between constitutional bodies and civil society in raising awareness about South Africa’s compliance with international instruments, and support and capacity interventions provided in this regard
• To develop a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the EEC and CGE regarding collaboration and enforcement measures for the implementation of the EEA

These hearings will be followed by a statement being issued at the end of each day to sensitize the public through the media on issues that would be emanating or emerging. An opinion piece or media engagement will follow, wherein society would be informed of the findings and recommendations going forward.

Some of the companies and departments that have heeded this call are:

City of Cape Town Municipality
Department of Agriculture
Department of Health
Department of Local Government
Department of Human Settlement
Distell Group Limited

Sekunjalo Investment Limited
Shoprite Holdings Limited
Vida E Caffe

                                       CGE Spokesperson
                                       083 579 3306

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