Pretoria - Trade union federation Cosatu on Thursday said
figures that showed whites still occupy 73.1% of top management positions are a
"It is a national disgrace that we have done so little
after 17 years of democracy to reverse the racial imbalances we inherited from
the days of apartheid," said Cosatu spokesperson Patrick Craven in a
statement released on Thursday.
Craven was reacting to the Commission of Employment Equity's
(CEE's) 11th annual report, which found that whites still occupy 73.1% of top
management positions in the country.
The report, released on Wednesday, showed that although
whites constitute 73.1% of top management, they make up only 12.1% of the
economically active population.
Blacks make up 73.6% of that population, with 12.7% in top
In 2006, blacks constituted 11.3% of top management and
At a senior management level whites still dominate, holding
64.1% of those positions, the CEE said.
Blacks occupy 17.6% of senior management positions,
coloureds 7% and Indians 9%.
The number of whites in senior management positions has
dropped 6.8% since 2006, while the number of blacks has increased by 4.2%,
Indians by 1.4% and coloureds by 1.2%.
Craven said the Employment Equity Act is "failing
abysmally to transform the discrimination inherited from apartheid".
He accused most private sector employers of not submitting
employment equity reports and failing to address the differences in earnings
between whites and blacks.
"An average African man earns in the region of R2 400
per month, whilst an average white man earns around R19 000. The racial income
gap is therefore roughly R16 800 among males.
"Most white women earn in the region of R9 600 per
month, whereas most African women earn R1 200 per month. The racial income gap
in monthly incomes among women is therefore R8 400. On average, white women
also earn eight times more than their African counterparts," he said.
The ANC also urged business to "fully implement
employment equity and affirmative action at the workplace".
ANC spokesperson Jackson Mthembu said in a statement that
the CEE report "reflects embarrassingly high statistical race disparities
in South Africa" and that it "is an indictment on the business
leaders for their failure to embrace progressive change in South Africa".
Earlier on Thursday, Business Unity South Africa (Busa)
urged business to introduce effective human resource plans to help address the
shortage of top level black managers.
"There is much work to be done at the top and senior
management levels and plans must be put in place to ensure development of
people at these levels," said Busa spokesperson Masego Lehihi.
She said it was "heartening" to see an increase in
the number of women and black people employed at professionally qualified and
Labour Minister Mildred Oliphant on Wednesday expressed her
disappointment at the slow pace of reform at top management, and urged that
"drastic measures" be taken.
Lehihi said Busa supported the labour department's
initiatives on employment equity issues, and that there had been a positive
response from business.
"We will continue to encourage our members to consider
replacing the retiring leadership with those who are underrepresented at the
top of organisations," she said.
The Black Management Forum (BMF) found the report disappointing,
said its managing director Nomhle Nkumbi-Ndopu.
"This report confirms what we have been saying about
business in South Africa. Business is not serious about transformation,"
The report further justified the BMF's decision to part ways
with Business Unity SA, she said.