Important changes that have taken place within South African politics mean that most companies today are under pressure to implement affirmative action (AA) policies within their organisations (equity policies). These AA policies include employment equity (EE) policies and Black economic empowerment (BEE) policies. Company agendas now include aspects such as equality and social justice and organisations will continue to be evaluated in terms of how well they meet employment equity targets. Many employees and citizens in general view the process and implementation of these policies with great scepticism and even reluctance. It is important to understand and examine these perceptions because employee perceptions influence employee attitudes and behaviour and therefore have an effect on the success (or failure) of an organisation. The effective implementation of EE and BEE policies will to a large extent depend on whether or not these policies fit into the overall culture of an organisation or whether the organisational culture is adapted to accommodate these policies. Previously, corporate cultures largely ignored principles of diversity and difference. It is important that the question of whether this has changed or changed to a large enough degree be answered, especially with regard to the implementation of EE and BEE policies. Some EE and BEE programmes may fail because previous structures, cultural systems and management styles are adhered to without adapting these to suit the needs of these policies. Ultimately, employees’ perceptions of AA in their organisation, namely the EE and BEE policies that are implemented, influence the attitudes and behaviour of employees and ultimately the success of the organisation. These perceptions are related to the culture of the organisation. This study explores employee perceptions of equity policies, specifically EE and BEE, in terms of differences in demographic characteristics, including race, gender, age, years’ service and occupational level; as well as relative to the main factors of these equity policies, as confirmed by a factor analysis performed on the data, namely the importance, impact and clarity of these policies. The sample company’s organisational culture is also explored in terms of these equity policies and perceptions thereof. The ultimate goal of this research is to examine if any relationships exist between the implementation of organisational cultural practices in an organisation relative to equity policies and employee perceptions of these, and if any relationships do exist, to determine the nature of such relationships. The sample size in this study is 476 employees.