Original Research

Enhancing diversity via affirmative action: A case study of the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan Municipality

Ntsikelelo B. Breakfast, Brigitte Maart
Africa’s Public Service Delivery & Performance Review | Vol 7, No 1 | a275 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/apsdpr.v7i1.275 | © 2019 Ntsikelelo B. Breakfast, Brigitte Maart | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 08 March 2019 | Published: 27 August 2019

About the author(s)

Ntsikelelo B. Breakfast, Department of Political Science, Faculty of Military Science, Stellenbosch University, Saldanha, South Africa
Brigitte Maart, Department of Public and Development Management, Faculty of Military Science, Stellenbosch University, Saldanha, South Africa

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Background: This article examines diversity within the context of affirmation action, with specific reference to the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan Municipality. The Employment Equity Act, 1998 (Act 55 of 1998), is a policy instrument through which affirmation action and organisational diversity are promoted in post-apartheid South Africa to increase the economic participation of designated groups.

Aim: Against this background, the aim of this article is to investigate the influence of the Employment Equity Act, 1998, on diversity management in the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality.

Setting: The guiding research question of this article is: what is the effective way of implementing affirmative action measures through Employment Equity Act, 1998 (Act 55 of 1998), in particular in promoting diversity in the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan Municipality?

Methods: A qualitative approach is employed to explore and describe the complexities at play in this article.

Results: The findings of this article suggest that the goal and vision of diversity management should consistently be communicated in clear terms to all affected, especially the employees as they are most affected by it.

Conclusion: This article contributes to the scholarship of Public Administration and Management surrounding the ongoing debate in South Africa with regard to transformation, organisation diversity and policy implementation of affirmative action. The central thesis of this article is that adequate policy execution of diversity and employment equity will improve service delivery alongside customer satisfaction.


Affirmative action; Employment Equity Act, 1998 (Act 55 of 1998); diversity; Nelson Mandela Metropolitan Municipality


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