Whites receive preference over blacks for jobs: minister

South African employers who do not meet employment equity criteria as stipulated by law have six months to rectify the situation, Labour Minister Mildred Oliphant said on Monday.

The Department of Labour’s 16th Commission for Employment Equity (CEE) Report, which was launched in Pretoria, shows the country’s labour market transformation is not taking place fast enough.

“South Africa’s pace of transformation in the labour market is moving on a stubborn path,” Oliphant said, “especially at the upper levels of management, where the White group has a tight grip.”

Companies that don’t rectify the situation within the next six months will face the “full might of the law”, she added.

According to the report, white people fill 68.9% of top management positions – which is more than six times the Economic Active Population of 9.9%.

The term Economically Active Population means people from 15 to 64 years of age who are either employed, or unemployed and seeking employment.

“This is also the case with the Indian group at 8.6% as they have a representation of three times more than their EAP.”

Indians’ Economic Active Population accounts for 2.7%.

The opposite is true for the African representation at top management level at 14.3% and coloured people at 4.7%. They are under-represented in relation to their EAPs of 77.4% and 10% respectively.

The ECC report further states that black people – mostly Africans – by and large populate the public sector, while white people are concentrated in the private sector.

Oliphant said she is concerned about the state and pace of transformation in South Africa, “this in a year that marks 20 years since we adopted a new Constitution”.

“White people continue to receive preference over other race groups,” Oliphant added.

“Even when their contract of employment is terminated in one organisation, they are recruited back again at the same top management level in another organisation during the same period, which is an indication of opportunities afforded specifically to them at the expense of other race groups.”


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Whites receive preference over blacks for jobs: minister