Cosatu: Equity figures a disgrace

2011-08-04 16:23

Pretoria - Trade union federation Cosatu on Thursday said figures that showed whites still occupy 73.1% of top management positions are a disgrace.

"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 management.

In 2006, blacks constituted 11.3% of top management and whites 74.9%.

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 skilled levels.

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," she said.

The report further justified the BMF's decision to part ways with Business Unity SA, she said. 

  • George - 2011-08-04 16:41

    Nationalisation, land reform and Employment equity should be fasttracked. Where in the world have you ever seen a minority that constitute a mere 9% own 80% of the land. Where in the world or country except SA have you ever seen a minority 9% occupy 73% of all top management positions. This is insulting and disgusting. Actually, 89% of this country's race ( Africans) are the most exposed to poverty,unemployemnt,crime, poor education etc. In order to prevent a future social implosion due to these racial inequalities it is in the interest of all to remedy the situation before Zim style reforms take root to the detriment of all. The ship cannot sail leaving behind 89% of the population, it better be sunk. The irony is that there is space to accomodate everyone.

      Boiling Frog - 2011-08-05 01:41

      George, one glance at the population statistics will give you a clue as to the enormous problems there are in giving Quality Education to all children. The children that that are lucky to go through the former Model C schools (almost private now) have the best hit at Quality Education and the private schools. However with a booming population growth and very few schools being built (apart from the 12 new schools in the WC by the DA) how can one achieve a better equity. Maybe It's time you held your ANC heroes accountable because time moves on and does not wait for the slackers to catch up! One last Question, how is Nationalisation of mines going to help you personally? In you own words please. I wait with abated breath.

  • Gomez - 2011-08-04 16:41

    Best man for the job regardless of colour...

  • Notuagain - 2011-08-04 16:44

    I dont believe these figures. Who did the survey?

  • chris van rensburg - 2011-08-04 16:46

    Statistics can prove anything.Please differentiate and compare between Public Sector,Corporate Business Sector on Stock exchange,Private Sector with public investors,Privately owned business in the private sector,People in business in the informal Sector.

  • Welleducated - 2011-08-04 16:47

    Cosatu, just like the government, is a racist organisation, what else can be expected from these fools?

  • MurchD - 2011-08-04 16:48

    And the reasons why whites are still controlling management positions... They actually do the work and succeed to keep our country that is in bad shape currently, standing. Companies will close one by one if you do not have competent, focused and educated people in charge... regardless of race!!!

  • Quixote - 2011-08-04 16:50

    To what extent is governments' failed eductional system to blame? We have lots of unemployable people who have very little to offer companies. Furthermore, business works in a competitive space not the monopoly run by government and the best person is required for the job, or our little uncompetitve economy will only become more and more uncompetitve with continuing job losses.

  • Ian - 2011-08-04 16:51

    Of course, another view could be that there is a lack of ability, despite having the paper degrees.

  • Gomez - 2011-08-04 16:58

    In a fair SA the heading would have read: Cosatu urges more black people to study harder and work harder to gain the skills needed to move up to managerial levels so to bring a more balanced white black ratio in these particular positions.

  • AZB - 2011-08-04 16:59

    This is only the one side of the story. Have the blacks ever considered why they are not being appointed in top positions? A big business cannot just appoint a black person for the sake of his or her colour. The people in top positions have huge responsibilities to operate, manage, lead the business and make money for the shareholders. Hence such person must be qualified and experienced to do the work. It is so that these people are mostly white males, inherited from the past. It will take time to change, as it has been. The Government must invest in the youth, educate and skill them properly and they will become CEO's in good time, no question about that. So in stead of making noises, do something positive for the country. A black person cannot expect to be a CEO if he/she is not qualified for that job, period.

  • leanair - 2011-08-04 17:02

    Is julle regtig dig? I challange you to go through the list of the 73% white top management and see if you could replace them with someone that does not know how their company works just because that person happens to be black. Change is coming, but to say that white people who worked their behinds off to get where they are do not deserve their position because they are white is racist, and yes, black people can be racist, and anyone who says anything else is ignorant. No company would hire someone that will not make them the most amount of money possible, be that person white, colored or black. The fact that more whites are in top positions is because there are more qualified whites to do the work. Blame the school system, that is where black south africans should get qualified to get top jobs, it is a disgrace that there are some black shools with less than 5 % pass rate. Name a white school with such a low pass rate. you can give me all the reasons why like better teacher at white schools, or no money at black schools, but at the end of the day, an employer will hire a candiate that will best make him money, so sort out the schools and leave business be. Until there is parity betwwn white and black candidates there will always be ths issue

  • tiredofitall - 2011-08-04 17:11

    If Patrick gives up HIS position, wouldn't that be helping the cause????

  • letsee - 2011-08-04 17:12

    Cosatu must take into account the ducation and experience of people. I suggest that a better analysis is to take a percentage of people with the capacity to fulfill the jobs.

  • michael.e.bowery - 2011-08-04 17:14

    Those available just not good enough to merit top management positions?

  • Horace - 2011-08-04 17:19

    A 15 minute scan of the internet revealed that 25% of the directors of the top 200 SA companies are Chartered Accountants. 90% of the Chief Financial Officers are CA's and 22% of the CEO's. Further research (included in the 15 minutes) shows that in 2009 there were approximately 29000 CA's of which 18654 are White, 2259 Indian, 1347 African and 589 Coloured. Would it therefore be unrealistic to draw the conclusion that 5% (1347 as a percentage of 29000) of the CFO's would be Africans simply because of the lack of qualifications for historical reasons. Whites would make up 65% of the CFO positions (18654/29000). THIS IS THE REASON. THE SAME FOR ENGINEERS, MARKETING MBA'S ETC. It takes 5+ years to qualify and then 10 years of work to get there. Fortunately the research also showed that in the 20 - 25 year age group 44% are Black. This is what has to happen.

  • Spade - 2011-08-04 17:19

    Perhaps its time to admit that AA and BEE are vehicles to failure, and not success. It is disturbing that our government seems to believe managers and skills are magically transferred from one person to the next, and that education is a simple matter of measuring pass rates, regardless of quality. If you want equity in the workplace, then you need equal skills. It starts with educating people, and if it means a high failure rate at first, then so be it. Black South Africans have a huge deficit when it comes to education, and it is right to blame it on Apartheid. But you do not overcome the deficit by simply lowering standards. Unless you still believe in Father Christmas...

  • michaelp1 - 2011-08-04 17:20

    Is this 'the whites fault'??? Maybe we should start by blaming SADTU (COSATU) Mr Craven!!!

  • jakkals - 2011-08-04 17:21

    I am white and proud to say I work hard. I work longer hours than most of my white and black colleagues. I have two degrees and want to reap the rewards of years' of hard studying. I want to contribute to the economy and life the lifestyle I want to. And how should I interpret the above findings? I can almost hear all the doors closing down for future me. If a black or colored deserves that position, great. But at least let me have an equal chance of getting the next promotion. From the people above's comments, I have no chance of ever being in a top position. It's almost been 18 years after 1994. There are still laws clamping down on my right to be appointed in a position I work hard for to earn. I am over looked because I am white and should constantly be reminded of my race's blame. I'm 27. I'll never get that top spot. Why should I stay and fight and try?

  • Benzo - 2011-08-04 17:23

    Ever seriously asked why this is the case?? If 80% of the population cannot make an impact on the economic front compared to the other 20% who do, there might be something wrong with the 80%. This coincides with the shambles in governance where the stats are more in favour of the black part of the population. Order an unbiased audit to get to the bottom of this phenomenon unless it is a smokescreen move towards "nationalising" all private enterprises Russian style.

  • Vela Stardust - 2011-08-04 17:29

    How about training more black managers? People can't just be appointed to a position they can't cope with because their skin is the right colour. The chaos that has taken place in S O E's goes to show the lack of trained and skilled people. Firing whites won't solve the problem. This country needs every manager it can find. Train more blacks! Hiring and firing managers based on their skin colour is blatantly racist. How about judging managers on performance?

  • gcr - 2011-08-04 17:33

    Have Cosatu ever wondered as to maybe its still the whites who are prepared to work hard and seldom strike

  • Dominic - 2011-08-04 17:33

    If COSATU wants faster transformation then people need better education and training than they've been getting. That's mainly the government's responsibility. Don't put the cart before the horse. Equity in skill = equity in employment.

  • Dr Phil - 2011-08-04 17:36

    Having recently gone into the recruitment business with a friend of mine from England, I have been shocked to see the impact of affirmative action first hand and the blatant discrimination that it fosters under the guise of redressing the imbalances of the past. I am the first person to admit that South Africa desperately needs to do something to reverse the negative impact of Apartheid era policies, but my experiences in the recruitment industry have convinced me that affirmative action and employment equity policies are definitely not the way forward for this country. It has been quite an eye opener to speak to Human Resource Managers from top level South African companies who blatantly tell recruiters that they are looking for help in filling vacancies in their organisations with one of their primary requirements being that the person must be an "employment equity" individual and they are not willing to consider white candidates. As a result of this requirement I have been amazed to see many high level white candidates who are for all intents and purposes unemployable.

      Creeky - 2011-08-04 22:07

      Doc... I do not havwe a problem with the whole AA thingy... If only they KEPT the White guy on, TO TRAIN THE BLACK DUDE ALL THERE IS TO KNOW ABOUT THE JOB....THE HIGHS, LOWS and IMPORTANCE OF THE SAID JOB, then pay the white guy OFF and hand him his pension and let the black dude take over the job.... at least the BLACK DUDE would UNDERSTAND THE IMPORTANCE OF HIS JOB!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! No use FORCING the black dude into the job, and he DOES NOT KNOW HOW TO FUNCTION!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Dr Phil - 2011-08-04 17:37

    It has reminded me of all the dinner table and fire place conversations from my days as a Cape Town resident where my white friends used to complain about affirmative action and compare it to Apartheid. They used to complain about how difficult it is to find employment as a white person in the "new South Africa" and I always thought this was exaggerated talk from a bunch of people who had a privileged upbringing and knew nothing about hardship, but my exposure to the recruitment industry has shown me how openly racist and counter-productive affirmative action really is.

  • will294 - 2011-08-04 17:53

    The whites occupy the majority of executive positions because it is they that started the companies and took the initial risk. If the blacks feel that they should be in the majority of managerial positions why don't they do the same as the whites and start their own businesses. Why do they feel that they have some sort of right to manage comapnies started by others !!

  • Nuraq - 2011-08-04 18:07

    Perhaps if the leaders of the ANC had focussed on educating the illiterate masses that resulted from aparteid, rather than acting like a bunch of greedy self-serving corrupt buffoons, then there would have been more black people in the system capable of entering these senior positions.

  • Eric West - 2011-08-04 18:15

    "Pushing people forward simply because of their colour, irrespective of merit, would be most unfortunate and would of course lead to disaster. It would mean that Rhodesia would then develop into a kind of banana republic where the country would in no time be bankrupt." - Ian Douglas Smith.

  • Sky - 2011-08-04 18:19

    Right, now please show us the same figures in terms of qualifications (per gender and race), years of experience (per gender and race) and value added (per gender and race) and while you at it, the average number of days taken as sick leave (per gender and race) Do that, then we talk.alifications (per gender and race), years of experience (per gender and race) and value added (per gender and race) and while you at it, the average number of days taken as sick leave (per gender and race) Do that, then we talk.

      davek - 2011-08-04 21:52

      Agreed! General statistics defining everything on the basis of race muddy the water. When watching,rugby,cricket,tennis and other sports. We are provided with a detailed analysis of the positives and negatives in key areas of performance. The reason for this is to identify strengths and weakness so that attention can be given to improving performance. Business measures expertise,itis what differentiates achievement. Is it too much to ask for serious analysis and attention to specifics? Or is it a case of none so blind as those who will not see? It is this blatant dishonesty that leaves the nation floundering.

  • Bok Fan - 2011-08-04 18:21

    Contrary to what the loud ones in the report are claiming this is probably the only anc project that is actually working. The "slow" progress is an illusion ,not to say lie, created by the grabbitallwithoutpaying brigade. The rate of transformation is healthy since anything more drastic would certainly put the rest of the economy where government is. Down the drain. The difference is, once a business is shot by over promoted under performing management you can't bail it out using public funds. This wailing about senior management i.e. where the big beemers can be obtained is also a red herring because at middle and junior management level the picture is very very different. Again a healthy sign that the ideologues and troublemakers choose not to comment on. This government and its alliance partners is so dishonest it makes one heartsick just to think of it. My recommendation to business. If you are doing what works for your company keep it up. In the long run all your stakeholders will be grateful, not just the few with ambitions and appetites way bigger than their talents and abilities.

  • Wineo'clock - 2011-08-04 18:30

    With a 30% pass rate its only going to get worse for blacks! Education, Education Education!

      Creeky - 2011-08-04 22:02

      Just look at their President.. .Std 3 and he is supposed to be in CHARGE? ROFLMAO!!!

  • umhlopo - 2011-08-04 18:33

    What is a disgrace is that blacks have not in 17 years proved themselves capable of challenging whites for these positions,your education standards are deplorable,your abilities to better yourselves are a joke,all you want are handouts.You vote for a bunch of nonachievers and expect them to better your lot,yes 17 years to wake up and smell the roses and you have not,your kind is doomed to eternal failure if you carry on with this pathetic outlook

  • Boerseun - 2011-08-04 18:34

    All this shows is that after 20 years of this nightmare, a good white oke still cannot be kept down. Even black investors know this, that's why they keep supporting these people and there companies. The proof of this pudding is clearly in the eating.

  • Optimist - 2011-08-04 18:56

    Shame dumdums , start your own businesses and employ any unqualified people you want. Then see how long you last.

      Creeky - 2011-08-04 22:01

      What does COSATU say about the SHOCKING UN-EMPLOYMENT FIGURES???????? 5 - 10 million with BEGGING BOWLS.... BECAUSE of COSATU!

  • Sheda Hab - 2011-08-04 19:12

    I feel like a doctor walking around with all these sickos around me. If this is the thinking of the so called thinking people of our nation then all I can say is that thank the Lord that I have been immunised against their deseases.

  • Clean Carpet Crew - 2011-08-04 22:39

    Well then, go to school. Get a degree, and you too will earn. They are comparing the domestic worker to a professional

  • Nicholas - 2011-08-05 00:14

    you are white mr.Craven, no matter how much you shower and try wash the stink that has "infected" you... my fellow South Africans, wake up, this is how this is going down... between the ignorant, greedy and incompetent BEE/AA policies of this government and their competing capitalist, socialist, communist, rascist and fascist paymasters, both in the east and the west, we the honest, law abiding citizenry, who want, no choose, nothing more than to live our lives in peach and harmony, where everybody has the right to a decent education, a safe community to live in and job to work to earn and contribute the legacy that we all wish to leave for our children and our children's children... the east will provide jobs so the greedy so and so's have got that side of the arguement covered, they just haven't told our people the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, why haven't they? because they believe in their infinite wiedom that we the public cannot handle the truth... better still to keep the masses mindless, uneducated and easily led, like sheep, or goats or cattle, beware the wolf in sheep's clothing or rather the tokoloshe that comes bearing sweets and gifts... revolution as has been recorded in history reveals that it is the victor that writes their version of the truth but the truth will out and there will be no legacy for anyone!! so together we stand, divided we fall but what will we all stand for... there are none so blind as those that WILL NOT see

  • John Law - 2011-08-05 06:45

    "An average African man earns in the region of R2 400 per month, whilst an average white man earns around R19 000" What is this? I was born in South Africa. I have white skin, yet I'm still african as much as my black brothers. Why are we not allowed to say black man but they can say "white man". Screw this. The media is still racially segregating the community. I'm White. You are black. We are BOTH african!

      Chris2.0 - 2011-08-06 14:26

      Yeah, we're only African when it suits the Afri-National-Corruption government, like when Mark Shuttleworth went up to the ISS and became the 1st African in Space!

  • Nikelle - 2011-08-05 10:23

    Manangement is not something that just happens . Even today when almost everyboday has a degree you start at the bottem and work your way up . The people who are in managment at the moment spent the last 40years working hard to get there(Generally speaking) .Fact up untill 17 Yrs ago the Black african was never put into a possition into which he would be allowed to work his way up ,However now his is but like i said you dont just become management it takes years of learning and training so in about 23yrs time there will be qualified black managment that know what they are doing and have earned it(saying the average age of top managment is 60 years old ) . Dont mess it up by putting people who do not know what are doing there not only does it hurt that buisness it hurts the future management as there are no qualified people to show them the ropes .

  • Whoa! - 2011-08-05 10:40

    Why does the ANC try to divert attention away from the fact that they simply do not care anymore for the people who voted them into power? How will nationalising the economy help people? Look for examples all over the world . Where has nationalisation worked? Can anybody answer this?

  • Virginia - 2011-08-05 11:12

    COSATU the figures will never change as long as you a pushing uneducated people into intellegent jobs, this country has had 20 years to educate its people for the future to work side by side with some of the top white south africans, but they whites were retrenched and the uneducated given theirs jobs this is not job creation, but know most of the people chose to be criminals. The white nation has seen over the past years what has happened to many companys under black management, so we are all reluctant to let everything go that way. Proof of the pudding is the majority nation is 90% of the population and what have they achieved from freedom, just more oppression by the ANC and COSATU. Leaders feathering their own nests at the servants expense.

  • Batman - 2011-08-05 12:10

    It's not the EE Act that failed, it's COSATU that failed. Your members should be consentrating on producing teachers who can teach and children who can attain a tertiary education, but they consentrate on doing nothing but moan, groan and strike. As long as COSATU doesn't understand that they have a responsibility towards SA,this will not change. If the white managers are incompetent, replace them with competent managers. The chances of them being white again is very good because black auditors, actuaries, engineers, etc is almost non-existent. This is due to the failure of the government and specifically of COSATU, to get education sorted out. If ANC/COSATU doesn't understand that the responsibility for education falls directly on their shoulders, they will never understand anything.

  • vmain - 2011-08-05 12:58

    How does any Government expect the population to take over top jobs if education is simply not available. Instead of building what little was available 17 years ago they destroyed the education department burned a lot of schools and trashed the books. All the well qualified teachers either left their posts were dismissed or left the country. How can they expect uneducated people to run the Country. Maybe I should be careful what I say. Russia is just starting to recover from socialism so why must we follow the road that has been traveled many times before. I agree with Nikelle a Chairman or CEO is not someone that is just put at the top so they can go out and have fancy lunches and buy fancy cars they have earned their stripes over many years of learning the ropes.

  • info - 2011-08-25 16:52

    Affirmative expectations are a disgrace. As is their attitude towards educationd and productivity.

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