Racism remains a controversial and sensitive topic in South Africa and such behaviour should not be tolerated in any working environment. Any form of racist remark, comment, behaviour, treatment or even an alleged form of any of these performed by an individual will not be taken lightly by the CCMA, employment tribunals and Labour Courts.

What the Labour Court says about racism?

In the case of Crown Chickens (Pty) Ltd t/a Rocklands Poultry v Kapp and Others, Zondo JP, the Labour Appeal Court (LAC) profoundly stated: “Within the context of labour and employment disputes, this Court and the Labour Court will deal with acts of racism very firmly. This will show not only this Court’s and the Labour Court’s absolute rejection of racism but it will also show our revulsion at acts of racism in general and acts of racism in the workplace particularly.”

The Constitution of South Africa guarantees us, as South African citizens, the right to freedom of expression. It also entrenches our right to dignity. However, racism on a national scale takes place every day. More importantly, racism continues to manifest in various ways in our society, including its impact in a working environment.