Why is this the most significant affirmative action dispute of its time?

The central issue of this case has not yet been decided by the Constitutional Court, namely whether an employment equity plan may ignore regional demographics.

Put differently, the issue is whether an employment equity plan can take into consideration only the national race demographics in setting numerical goals, ignoring all other relevant factors such as the regional demographics and the pool of suitably qualified candidates from which an employer can expect to appoint and/or promote from.

It is common practice by all state departments and many private or semi-private institutions to rely solely on national race demographics in setting their numerical targets. However, the outcome of this case will not only have an effect on those companies or departments but on the way in which the Department of Labour enforces legal compliance.

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