ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa addresses his supporters during the ANC's 106th-anniversary celebrations in East London. Picture: Siphiwe Sibeko/Reuters
JOHANNESBURG - South Africa has for the second year in a row realised a much-needed surge in transformation as far as the number of black economic empowerment (BEE) appointments are concerned.

Leading executive search firm Jack Hammer said there had been an 8percent increase in BEE appointments in the past year, building on the almost 10percent achieved in 2016.

Jack Hammer chief executive Debbie Goodman-Bhyat said what this meant was that the increase in the number of BEE executive level appointment was not just incremental, “it’s significant and gaining momentum year on year”.

The past year saw economic empower placements standing at 56percent, an increase from the 48.4percent of 2016 and 39percent in 2015.

Black female appointments were up from 13percent in 2016 to 25percent last year, while appointments of foreign candidates dropped from 6.5percent to 3percent.

The continued increase, according to Goodman-Bhyat reflects two things: “That there is ongoing pressure to transform at senior management and executive levels within corporates, and also that there is a growing pool of talent at senior management level to fill these positions”.

Uptick

Goodman-Bhyat also welcomed the uptick in the number of female appointments in general, which were up from from 32percent in 2016 to 38percent last year.

“This is significant, because until last year, we were struggling to get above the 30percent mark. At the end of 2016, we moved that needle a little, but now we can see that the trajectory is moving in the right direction. And most positively of all, the big shift has been with the appointment of black women, whose appointments increased by 12percent last year,” she said.

Business Unity South Africa (Busa) chief executive Tanya Cohen said: “Busa welcomes the findings in the latest report by executive search firm Jack Hammer. In the adopted business approach to black economic transformation published in June 2017, Busa determined the desired end-state of a diverse, vibrant and globally competitive economy.

"This requires a meaningful broadening in economic participation to enable inclusive growth and employment. Notwithstanding the encouraging numbers from the report, Busa stated that business needs to do more to enhance its contribution and lend its weight and capabilities to transformation.”

- BUSINESS REPORT