Employment and Labour Minister Thulas Nxesi. Photo: ANA

Tabea Kabinde - head of the Commission for Employment Equity (CEE) - has asked the Employment and Labour Minister Thulas Nxesi to force government not to do business with big corporates if they continue to exclude black people in top management positions in their companies.

Kabinde made a call to Nxesi following the launch of the annual report for the Commission for Employment Equity which details worryingly low figures of black people, including women, holding top management positions in big corporates in the country.

On Tuesday, Kabinde revealed that economically active black people constituted 78% of the population while equally active white people only made up 9% of the population.

The commission, however, found that the representation of black people in top management level constitutes 15%, while they constitute 79% of the economically active population.

According to the commission - a total number of 66.5% of top management positions in most companies in the country are still held by white people.

The report further reported that the Indian people who constitute 2.6% of economically active people occupy 5.3% of top management positions in the country.

The report further found that the coloured people constitute 9.6% of economically active people but only hold 3.4% of top management positions in the workplace.

“The representation of the white population group in the private sector is nearly eight times their economically active population (EAP) of 9% and in government their representation is 8.9% which is  more aligned to the EAP. The private sector employs more foreign nationals that government at this occupational level,” the report states.

Kabinde also expressed concern about private sector choosing to give top management position of people with disabilities mainly to whites. The report showed that African male people with disabilities in top management positions constituted 10.2%; Coloured males 5.0%; Indian 12.3% and whites 45.6% - Females - African 4.6%; Coloured 4.0%; Indian 5.0% and White 11.5%.

“Employers who employ persons with disabilities are mainly from the white population group,” the report found.

In his reaction, Nxesi expressed concern about “the slow pace of transformation in the workplace” and he promised that the government would be forced “to resort to hard measures to ensure that transformation take place in the workplace.

Nxesi said those companies that do not want to implement the Equity Employment Act introduced 20 years ago “must face the music. They must be punished,” he said.

Political Bureau