Parliament wants tougher action against companies that aren’t hitting transformation targets

Parliament’s Standing Committee on Finance met on Tuesday (26 November) to discuss the transformation of the financial sector.

In its presentation, the National Treasury told the committee that transformation in the financial sector was largely stagnant and had not changed over the past few years.

This was echoed by other stakeholders, including the South African Reserve Bank, Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment Commission (B-BBEE) and the Financial Sector Transformation Council.

Facing this lack of transformation, the committee said that more should be done so that targets also are reached.

It called on the regulatory bodies to ‘develop strong teeth to bite companies that are not adhering to transformation targets’, and also called for a national transformation summit to be held urgently.

More needs to be done

In his open letter to the public on Monday (25 November), President Cyril Ramaphosa said that while significant progress on transformation has been made in the public sector, not enough was being done in the private sector.

“The report released by the Commission for Employment Equity in August points, at best, to poor adherence to employment equity legislation, and, at worst, outright disregard for the law,” he said.

“The upper echelons of management in private companies are still dominated by white men, although they make up just 5% of the economically active population. Africans only make up 15% of top management, despite accounting for 79% of the economically active population.”

Ramaphosa said that poor labour relations is in part fuelled by perceptions that black employees are ‘relegated to the factory floor while white employees occupy management roles’.

The president said more needs to be done to transform the private sector.

“Advancing black and female employees must be a cornerstone of any company’s operations. This must move beyond merely ensuring compliance, and towards succession planning, mentoring, training and skills transfer, and towards giving employees a meaningful stake in the companies they work for.”

Read: Ramaphosa says more needs to be done to transform private businesses

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Parliament wants tougher action against companies that aren’t hitting transformation targets