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Thu Apr 24 03:34:00 SAST 2014

Whites still dominate South African management

Sapa | 18 April, 2013 14:15
A man adjusts his tie.
Image by: Sunday Times

Whites still dominate South Africa's top management positions, a report by the Employment Equity Commission revealed.

The 13th edition of the report shows whites constituted 72.6 percent of top management positions in the country last year, down from 81.5 percent in 2002.

The report reflects the public and private sectors.

Blacks occupied 12.3 percent of top management positions in 2012, compared to 10 percent in 2002.

Commission chairman Dr Loyiso Mzisi Mbabane handed the report to Labour Minister Mildred Oliphant at a Transformation Indaba in Boksburg, on the East Rand.

Coloureds occupied 4.6 percent of top management positions in 2012, compared to 3.4 percent in 2002; and Indians 7.3 percent, from five percent.

The number of foreigners in top management positions in 2012 was 3.1 percent, compared to zero in 2002. However, this was because the labour department started collecting this data only in 2006.

Mbabane expressed disappointment at the levels of transformation.

"It is unacceptable. This is not what you would expect, especially because we have a law," he said.

"If we did not have a law like the Employment Equity Act of 1998, you could say people are trying their luck and they are not understanding it, but you have a law that says specifically you must have a [employment equity] plan."

The government had expected companies to put into effect their employment equity plans by 2000.

"The two percent increase in black people occupying top management positions says that either we don't take those [employment equity] plans seriously, or we never took the act seriously. It is not acceptable," said Mbabane.

The report was compiled by the Employment Equity Commission using millions of employment equity reports from the public sector and private companies across all sectors of the South African economy.

It showed that men continued to dominate top management, although their representation at this level dropped by 6.1 percent, from 86.2 percent in 2002 to 80.1 in 2012.

Female representation at top management rose by 6.1 percent, from 13.7 percent in 2002 to 19.8 percent in 2012.

Mbabane said what was disappointing was that the percentage of women in top management had increased from 13.7 percent in 2002 to 21.6 percent in 2006, before dropping back to 19.8 percent in 2012.

The report further shows that blacks occupied 10.8 percent of senior management positions in 2002. This figure had risen to 18.4 percent in 2012.

Whites occupied 77.9 percent of senior management positions in 2002. A decade later this declined to 62.4 percent.

Coloureds held 5.1 percent of senior management positions in 2002 and 7.1 percent in 2012.

Indian representation in senior management stood at 6.3 percent in 2002 and surged to 9.5 percent in 2012.

Oliphant told the conference the policy to implement Employment Equity in the workplace would stay.

"There are those who are calling for a sunset clause on employment equity," she said.

"To make this call now is mischievous at best or at worst a callous disregard of history and its negative ramifications that will be felt way beyond the two decades of freedom."

There was still a long way to go to achieve transformation in the country, she said.

"We have not yet arrived at the proverbial Jordan. Not by a long shot. A lot of work still needs to be done to create equitable and transformed workplaces which are free from unfair discrimination."

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Thu Apr 24 03:34:00 SAST 2014 ::