Pace of transformation in SA remains slow

The pace of transformation in top management in South Africa remains slow, the Commission for Employment Equity’s annual report revealed on Monday.

According to the report, the percentage of white people in top management was 70% in 2014, compared to 72.6% in 2012 and 73.1% in 2010.

The percentage of men in top management was 81% in 2010, 80.2% in 2012 and 79.2% in 2014.

The trends in the 2014/2015 report remain relatively unchanged, explained Commission for Employment Equity acting chairperson Tabea Magodielo in the report.

“Change remains slow and again this means that the sunset clause is a ‘pie in the sky’ concept,” she said. “What is further alarming is how in some of the provinces and sectors we have witnessed a decline in black representation where it matters most. Also becoming significantly evident is the increase of foreign nationals at senior levels of most organisations.

“On a positive note, we welcome the decrease of whites at top management in the light of the EAP (economically active population) statistics on designated people,” she said. “However, the pace is still slow.

“In 2010 it was at 2.9% and it is in 2014 at 3.4%,” she said. “We cannot hope to pick up momentum unless there is a passion for transformation. Employers have to come to terms with the fact that such better representation amongst the designated people makes business sense. There is definitely a business case to be made for that. It is not just a matter of redressing the past.

“That is why Transformation Legislation (the B-BBEE Act in particular) in the workplace is putting the bar higher and tightening up on compliance, thereby ensuring that poor compliance results in a compromised ability to compete successfully in business with regards to tenders,” she said.

“It is in our collective interests to transform our workplaces so that there is equal access to employment, thereby harnessing the talent of our whole population in the economy.”

The report reveals that although to a reduced extent, whites continue to be overrepresented relative to their EAP at the top three occupational levels ahead of the designated groups.

Black representation starts becoming more significant at the lower levels especially at the skilled technical level, with African males as the second most represented group after white females at the top management level in the private sector.

Africans are the most represented group in all tiers of government and state-owned companies, with males being the most preferred at managerial levels, the report explains.

White women seem to enjoy preference in managerial positions in the private sector over black women, in particular African and coloured women, it explains.


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Pace of transformation in SA remains slow