Minister of Employment and Labour Thulas Nxesi has expressed concern at the slow pace of workplace transformation and has promised that government will now introduce ‘harsh measures’ to ensure transformation in South African workplaces.
This will include the fast-tracking of amendments to the Employment Equity (EE) Act, he said in a departmental presentation on Tuesday (27 August).
“Our intention is to resuscitate legislation that could not go through. We hope Parliament will prioritise the bills because their amendments were at (an) advanced stage,” he said.
Nxesi said that those who do not comply with the laws of the country must ‘face the music and be punished’.
“We are not just talking about a single solution, but a range of solutions to deal with problems in the economy and workplace”.
Nxesi was speaking during the launch of the Commission for Employment Equity’s latest transformation report.
The findings – which are based on more than 27,000 employment equity audits – shows that 65.6% of top management positions are occupied by white South Africans.
Black Africans occupied 76% of the positions in government and whites occupied 69.6% of the positions in the private sector.
The report shows that South Africa’s economically active population is broken down as follows:
- Africans – 78.0%
- Coloureds – 9.6%
- Indians – 2.7%
- Whites – 9.0%
Commission for Employment Equity chairperson, Tabea Kabinde, said that a broad level, the trends continue to paint a picture of a very slow, but steady pace of transformation, especially at the top four occupational levels.
She said it was critical of government and social partners to make transformation a shared objective.
“We expect that when employers are slow in transforming, worker activism will nudge the employers,” she said.