The Employment Equity Commission for South Africa has released its 2015/16 report, flipping the table on the belief that whites are struggling to find work in South Africa.
The EEC’s report is based on 25,030 employment equity reports from companies across the country, which covers data on 7.09 million workers from the economically active population (EAP) group.
The bulk of the reports come from the private sector – representing 5.4 million workers – with the balance made up of non-profit organizations, state-owned enterprises, educational institutions and national, provincial and local government.
The report reveals that whites are massively over-represented in the private sector, accounting for 72.4% of all top management positions – compared to the public sector, which has 73.2% black African representation.
Graph 1 – whites are over-represented in the workforce
Graph 2 – whites dominate the private sector
Notably, white males are over-represented in all business sectors in the country, despite making up only 5.6% of the entire workforce.
However, despite having minority representation in the public sector, whites are still more prevalent in the public sector than all other racial groups, except black Africans.
Further, white males make up a third of top management positions in national government, and more than a third of all education institutions in the country.
Whites also have more representation at senior management level at 58.1%, which is more than five times their EAP demographics.
Black Africans follow, with a representation of 21.2% where they are three fold under-represented in relation to their EAP, while the representation of the Indian group at 10.2% far exceeds their EAP, the EEC said.
The Coloured group is also under-represented at 7.4% compared to their EAP.
Hiring – and firing – whites in South Africa
While many whites decry BEE as enemy number one when it comes to blocking career progression, the EEC’s data shows this to be false.
Whites – predominantly white males – are afforded higher levels of recruitment, promotion and training opportunities as compared to designated groups, the EEC said.
Of the 58,800 workers who showed movement in their careers in 2015/16, 42.1% of white males were recruited to new companies; 38.8% were promoted in their companies; and 51.2% were sent for skills development by their companies.
Graph 3 – more whites get recruited than anyone else (white males in particular)
Graph 4 – more whites get promoted than anyone else (white male in particular)
This is more than every other population group in the country, by a wide margin.
On the other side of the data, however, white males also showed the highest termination rate – with more than half (51.2%) of all terminated jobs being white males.
“The rate at which the white groups exit organisations, appear to be higher than the rate at which they are recruited into organisations,” the EEC said.
“This trend suggests that with natural attrition, the representivity of white males will be reduced with time.”