Too many whites in management

More white males continue to dominate management positions in the South African economy while the appointment of Africans into those positions is still “moving at a snail’s pace”.

Tabea Mogodielo, the acting chairperson for the Commission for Employment Equity, said government departments and state-owned entities were doing well in implementing employment equity in the workplace, but the private was not making movements in the right direction.

The acting chairperson said this when she released the 15th Commission for Employment Equity annual report in Pretoria, on Thursday.

She said that the lack of transformation at senior management level was “disheartening”.

“There is no effort to embrace the spirit of employment equity. In terms of the SA economy at management level, it is still business as usual as it was prior to democracy.”

“My question is, what are we doing to change the picture?”

“Government is doing well, state-owned companies are doing well, and that is the end of the story,” she said.

According to the report, 70% of whites remain in leadership positions while Africans only have 13.6% representation in top management.

In 2012, only 12.3% of all economically active Africans sat in leadership positions, while 72.6% of their white counterparts held senior positions.

This is despite whites only constituting 10.3% of the entire economically active population while Africans constitute 76.2% of the working population.

Zooming into other population groups, the report revealed that only 4.7% from the coloured working population in held top management positions in 2014, with 8.4% of all top managers being Indians.

Foreign nationals took up the remaining 3.4% of all leadership positions.

In terms of gender, males continue to dominate top management positions in all employer organisations.

While the number of males dropped marginally from 80.2% in 2012 to 79.2% in 2014, only 20.8% of the females held top management positions, a slight increase from 19.8% in 2012.

Mogodielo said while the Commission’s theme was “transformation makes business sense”, it appeared that there was no sense of urgency from the private sector to implement employment equity.

Thobile Lamati, the director-general of the Department of Labour, said the department was in the process of finalising its first ever court case in order to ask the labour court to force companies, especially bigger corporations, to comply with the Employment Equity Act or face a fine.

He said that some 1 400 employers across the country had failed to submit their employment equity reports despite this being a requirement by the law.

“In our endeavours to enforce the amendments of the Employment Equity Act, our department is at an advanced stage of referring these … employers who have failed to meet their reporting obligations to the labour court,” he said.

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Too many whites in management