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Revealed: Two forms of workplace racism you need to avoid at all costs

by , 10 March 2014
Racism in the workplace is defined as discrimination or prejudice against an employee or group of employees based on the employee's race. There are two forms of workplace racism you should be aware of. Continue reading to find out what they are...

The two forms of racism explained

This year, South Africa celebrates 20 years of democracy and freedom. One may argue that there's not much to celebrate because racism is still rife in South Africa.

According to a report by Jamiat.org.za, the South African Human Rights Commission says allegations of racism make up 80% of the 10000 human rights complaints it receives annually.

At 74%, Mpumalanga had the highest number of racism complaints in the third quarter of the 2013-2014 financial year. The Free State generated 69% of racism complaints, followed by North West at 55%.


Here's a checklist with 14 ways to comply with Employment Equity.


If you're an employer, you need to know that there are two forms of workplace racism.

The Labour Law for Managers Loose Leaf Service explains that racism in the workplace primarily takes one of two forms:

#1: Racism on a micro-level between employees or between an employer and an employee or a specific group of employees.

For example, where an employee uses racist language to another employee or where a white employee refuses to work in a team with a black employee. This form of racism can also happen where an employer gives preferences to white employees and there by prejudices black employees.

#2: The employer's neglect to ensure that its workplace is representative of all groups of the population. For example, where a designated employer fails to implement the affirmative action measures required in terms of the Employment Equity Act (EEA).

Here's why it's important to deal with workplace racism

Labour experts at FSP Business warn that racism in the workplace is often covert in nature and targeted employees are systematically undermined over a period, which undermines their confidence and ultimately their ability to perform.

The bottom line is that you mustn't allow racism in your workplace.

Now that you know all about the two forms of workplace racism, use these measures to keep racism under control before it becomes a major problem.

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