GSTF Journal of Law and Social Sciences (JLSS)

, 4:12

First online:

Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.

Blowing the Whistle on Attempts to Appoint Unqualified People under the Guise of Enhancing Representation

Whistleblowing, affirmative action and safety in the workplace
  • Marié McGregorAffiliated withDepartment of Mercantile Law, University of South Africa Email author 


This case study will discuss a number of laws which interacted in the contexts of affirmative action, safety in the workplace and the duties of employees in this regard. The Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, the Employment Equity Act, the Protected Disclosures Act, the Engineering Profession Act and the Occupational Health and Safety Act are discussed to show the manner in which safety may be ensured where the employer has disregarded same. The question needs to be asked whether service delivery and safety can trump affirmative action. The courts suggested that service delivery can indeed trump affirmative action. However, in other cases, the courts seemed to suggest that this was not possible. It is submitted, however, that affirmative action can never trump safety. The case sent a message to local governments to provide services in a sustainable manner and to create safe environments for communities, and by doing so, creating order and protection. In doing so, municipalities have to prioritise training where needed to effectively and safely deliver services. In the absence of these, employees may blow the whistle, use their professional bodies and relevant laws to ensure safety and protect themselves, co-employees and the public.


workplace whistleblowing affirmative action safety