State entities fail on equity: SAIRR

2011-01-26 13:55

Johannesburg - The demographics of upper management in most South African parastatals do not reflect those of the country, according to the latest South Africa Survey, published by the South African Institute of Race Relations (SAIRR) in Johannesburg this week.

This was in spite of the government's demand that private sector companies conform to employment equity targets, the SAIRR said on Wednesday.

The data - sourced from a parliamentary question - shows that at electricity parastatal Eskom, only a third of its 21 top management members are black, a third Indian or Coloured, and a third white.

Nearly half (48%) of the 388 members of senior management are white. About 30% are black, 6% Coloured and 16% Indian, according to the SAIRR's survey.

Of the 407 members of the management of arms parastatal Denel, 10% are black, 5% Coloured, 8% Indian, and 77% white.

Of the 102 members of the top management of logistics parastatal Transnet, 41% are black, 6% Coloured, 21% Indian, and 32% white.

Of the 495 members of senior management at Transnet, 39% are black, 10% Coloured, 19% Indian, and 33% white.

"There are only three parastatals where Africans (blacks) make up 50% or more of management," the SAIRR noted.

"These are South African Airways (Africans account for 50% of management), the South African Forestry Company Limited (67%), and South African Express (67%)."

The department of labour announced in December 2010 that proposed amendments to the Employment Equity Act could see employers who contravene the act by not submitting employment equity plans or by failing to ensure that their staffing component accurately reflects the demographics of the country, be fined up to 10% of turnover.

The maximum fine that can be imposed is R900 000. Marius Roodt, a researcher at the SAIRR, said that private companies could not be expected to comply with the Employment Equity Act when parastatals failed to do so.

"This is a reflection of the dire skills shortage in the country. Companies, and indeed parastatals, have to take on skilled personnel, no matter what the colour of their skin is," Roodt said.

He said the government was pursuing "a risky course" in planning on implementing even heavier fines for companies that did not comply with employment equity laws.

"These laws will only scare off investment in SA, and deter South African companies from expanding."

  • Solo - 2011-01-26 14:01

    SAIRR really is coming out with some cracking stats this month.

  • fraud - 2011-01-26 14:06

    Hmmm.....these badly performing parastatals are actually controlled by whites?! who would've thought? Me actually. They're not as competent as they think they are. Competence (or lack thereof) has no colour. I've been to white schools all my life and am now working with a lot of me, white is not necessarily synonymous to competent.

  • TT - 2011-01-26 14:17

    SAIRR is going to be in trouble very soon: they are way too honest and don't 'rubbish' RSA. This Roodt person, if responsible for encouraging release of these type of stats, sounds like a real objective South African. Can SAIRR release the stats per industry please? Like banking, insurance/assurance, amnufacturing, mining, etc? Now, veted interests are going to vehemently oppose such a 'silly notion'!

  • I wonder - 2011-01-26 14:21

    Is SAIRR making an excuse for the private sector not to take this seriously.

  • granville sacks - 2011-01-26 14:26

    Good atfternoon to all you readers. We this has and is an ongoing problem in RSA. White people do not want to release power on even give in to the fact that people of colour are capable of doing the job in a senior position. I reaaly think the government need to be more stearn on companies. Companies will rather give a senior post to a WHITE female than give the post to a male or female, be black, coloured or indian. So I think we as the majority in RSA must not be fooled that the WHITES do not want to share. Regards Granville Sacks

  • The Oracle - 2011-01-26 14:27

    What's thsi space: The ANC will rather employ uneducated BEE candidates than to give the job to a competent person. I wish the day would come were people are employed because of what they know and not who they know..

  • Jaco - 2011-01-26 14:52

    @fraud - competency has no colour, only measurable performance indicators... which is kind of the point most rational people are trying to make. You shouldn't get the job because you're black, white, pink or blue, but because you are good at it.

  • Johnathan - 2011-01-26 15:09

    The whole obsession with racial numbers reflecting the economically active population makeup in every single company and at ever single level of every company is just absurd! It's Soviet-style social engineering.

  • Shrek - 2011-01-26 15:10

    The starnge thing is that all these parastatals have black CEO's and black Chairpersons. Its obvious where the problem lies......these black CEO's/Chairpersons cannot find competent black people to fill these senior management positions. In any case these parastatals is owned by the Government.

  • postman - 2011-01-26 15:11

    I notice SAA & SA Express leads the way, then way are most pilots white or do they not account as management?

  • Frank - 2011-01-26 15:41

    The best person for the job is why Western Province is the best province in the country and Cape Town the 2nd best city in the world. Why have millions of whites left SA and millions more blacks have flocked into SA from the rest of Africa?

  • Werner - 2011-01-26 15:46

    Would be nice to see the Stats for the Gov... Wonder how one manages to "not let go of power". Would letting go imply you simply resign on condition that a PDAP takes over?

  • Doorboot - 2011-01-26 15:54

    Fraud please read what granville sacks says. O the irony of being made to look like a moron by one of your own.

  • True Facts - 2011-01-26 16:07

    This the only reason why this country is not in total disarray, there is still a few competent people working in the parastatals.

  • Pale Rider - 2011-01-26 16:40


  • MGM - 2011-01-26 16:51

    @ granville sacks - Have you read your atrocious spelling and grammar in your comment? Are your facts just as atrocious?

  • John - 2011-01-26 17:35

    Can somebody please help me? How do you determine whether a person is a Black, Indian, Coloured or White. There is no reference in my ID book. I asume a Dulux paint colour card must be used or do you use criteria such as Intelligence, qualifications, looks etc. By the way Black and White is not clasified as colours of the rainbow.

  • Frank Esmonde - 2011-01-26 19:21

    Guys, Guys, Guys! Transformation is a process not a switch! We should never under estimate the damage aparteit did to the previously disadvantaged! As a 10 year old I sat at the dining room table and listened to my parents, uncles and aunts discussing business management. It could take 50 years for "management memory" to evolve in the previously disadvantaged communities. Only then can we expect to see employment equity.

  • Nasdaq7 - 2011-01-26 20:15

    They are not supposed to be reflective of the demographics of the country: they are supposed to be reflective of those that have the necessary skills, ability and education. The SAIRR is a notoriously racist institution. They should have been closed down after apartheid, but now they pander to the ANC's program of institutionalized racial discrimination.

  • Camel - 2011-01-26 20:46

    Thanks for that, just think how corrupt, how unproductive, and how incompetent SA would have been IF the targets were actually reached. Now with only 1/3 of the transformation acheived, we have gone backwards 66%. Thank Goodness there are still some patriots that love SA enough to stay here- even in during CHAOS and utter uselessness of the the so called leaders of our country.

  • aad - 2011-01-26 20:54

    SAA is a mess (50% black management), but so is Denel (77% white). Eskom also seems to have a mixed bag. The bottom line is that the racial composition of management doesn't seem to correlate with good or bad performance. Parastatals, by their nature, are dysfunctional. And South Africans generally are lazy and getting lazier, regardless of race.

  • Cathy Rutledge - 2011-01-26 23:24

    I am surprised by the Eskom demographics considering they screwed up so badly. I suppose they must be heavily influenced by the government because of their need to have their borrowings secured by the government.

  • Thato - 2011-01-27 09:15

    @ Camel - interesting statistics. Where's your source for those statistics? I'd like to review their studies and see how they consider we have gone 66% backwards when we have reports like the one by the SAIRR reporting that South African standard of living has improved ( In fact, the quality of life at present is said to be better than 1990 AND 1985 - years before we became a democracy. In addition to that South Africa has been invited to join what is being considered the next economic powerhouse (BRIC). These are just SOME of the progressions South Africa has made. It would be interesting to see the statistical study that says we've gone 66% backwards and see what their argument is. It should be enlightening.

  • Patriot - 2011-02-28 00:25

    You like it or not, the imbalances of the past have to be corrected. Its a known fact that redress will be bitter to the priviously advantaged. Before the democratically elected regime, Africans (Blacks) used to get 4roomed houses when Coloureds, Indians and Whites got nice flats and big houses. The previous government catered for the minority and balancing that is obviously going to affect the minority the most. The houses whites got for next to nothing during the apartheid era, and are now selling them for well over a million rands, and the poor darkies are stuck with their 4 bedroomed houses. It is expected of the Whites, Coloureds and Indians to resist change, but not for long anymore. The point here is that non-africans must just understand that these changes have to take place in one way or other, they may moan and groan about it, but nothing and no one is going to stop the process........... so they must just deal with it

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