The Commission for Gender Equality (CGE) wishes to report that it held a meeting in line with Section 11 (e) of the CGE Act 39 of 1996. The purpose of this meeting was further given impetus by the huge public outcry on the violation of female employees of Top Bet.
Through the interaction between the CGE and owners of the company it was ascertained that the manager involved in the misconduct has since been relieved of her duties as a result of the illegal strip search. It is in this spirit that the CGE welcomes the decision taken by the company in light of the gravity of the actions taken by the former manager in this regard.
The company has since agreed that the actions by the former manager were unwarranted and further emphasized that it was against company policy for any manager employed with the company to undertake such practice. In essence, the company agrees that what had occurred in the strip search procedure was inappropriate and thus served as a violation of women’s rights.
Having noted that the violation was instituted by a female manager onto other female staff members brings about an interesting dynamic to intra-gender conflict which found space in the working environment of the company and this is a matter that we would need to pay attention to in other spheres of our work as the Gender Commission. We are pleased that all those women who were victims of this incident are now receiving trauma counselling at the cost of the employer, said Chairperson of the CGE, Ms. Lulama Nare.
The CGE has given extensive advise to the company in relation to strengthening its gender related policies and practices, but more importantly, the company has agreed to take further steps to ensure that its human resources department becomes more proactive in the future in an effort to ensure that such practices cease to exist. It is in this context that the company has made a commitment to ensure that health and safety standards are factored into their policies for the purpose of protecting women employees. The latter will be accompanied by culture and gender sensitivity awareness within the company.
The CGE is satisfied about the fact that the company has made a commitment to protect the complainant who blew the whistle on the matter. To this end, the company will be sending an action plan (to the Gender Commission) on the remedial action to be taken in the short and long term periods.
The CGE will be closely monitoring the company in relation to commitments pertaining to the remedial action.
Source: Government of South Africa