Democratic Alliance (DA) leader Helen Zille speaks during an interview with Reuters in Johannesburg November 2, 2012. South Africa's ruling party will fracture before the decade is out, pulled apart by tension between big business and labour that was laid bare by three months of mining unrest, opposition leader Zille said. In an interview with Reuters, Zille said the unprecedented mining turmoil, including the police killing of 34 strikers at Lonmin's Marikana platinum mine in August, had exposed unsustainable contradictions in Nelson Mandela's 100-year-old African National Congress. Picture taken November 2, 2012. REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko (SOUTH AFRICA - Tags: BUSINESS POLITICS HEADSHOT)




Western Cape - Almost 80 percent of senior staff in the Western Cape are categorised as black, premier Helen Zille said on Wednesday, rebutting ANC claims of a racial "purge" in the province.



She said blacks, coloureds and Indians made up 39,276 of the 50,521 staff members who were in top or senior management, were professionally qualified or skilled technicians.



She was responding to allegations by the provincial African National Congress that the government was "purging" itself of its black staff.



MPL and former premier Lynne Brown said on Wednesday that Zille was pursuing a "refugee agenda".



Brown could not give figures of those she claimed were affected, but said "many" staff members were in various stages of progress at the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA).



Zille rubbished these claims.



"Lynne Brown's claims of a 'purge' of black people from the Western Cape government is complete nonsense. We note that she failed to give a single specific example, and therefore this claim is not worthy of attention."



She said the government had met its employment equity target for black women in the four top employment categories, and was apparently "over-represented" with coloured women.



Brown had alleged that staff were being purged because of procedural matters and not because they could not do their jobs.



Zille said the statistics showed that 65 percent of employees who had exited the public service had resigned, 15 percent had retired, seven percent had died, five percent had absconded or been dismissed, and the rest had been transferred.



"Lynne Brown needs to get a firm grasp of the facts first before making wild and unfounded accusations," Zille said.



"If she wishes to make a useful contribution to improving the state of the province, she should lobby her party in national government to start implementing the National Development Plan immediately." - Sapa