Whites still dominate S. African executive jobs: study
South Africa’s top jobs are still heavily skewed in favour of whites, with just 15.8 percent held by blacks three decades after the end of apartheid, a report showed Friday.
outh Africa’s top jobs are still heavily skewed in favour of whites, with just 15.8 percent held by blacks three decades after the end of apartheid, a report showed Friday.
“At top management, 64.7 percent of the population is white,” Tabea Kabinde, the lead author of an annual employment equity study, told AFP.
Whites represent around nine percent of the country’s economically active population.
The report, based on data collected in 2020, showed that the remainder of the jobs are held by Indians and workers of mixed race, also known as coloureds.
Whites “are highly over-represented,” said Kabinde, who chaired the special commission studying the employment trends.
“This continues to follow the patterns created by apartheid policies,” said the report, confirming that “the pace of transformation continues to be slow.”
Reacting to the findings, Labour Minister Thulas Nxesi said the situation was unacceptable.
“It’s a wake-up call and we have to respond urgently,” he said during an online briefing.
“It is disconcerting to say the least, that whilst we are consolidating 27 years of democracy… we are still lamenting” the pace of change in the labour market.
“We might have political power but there is no economic power. We still remain a very unequal society particularly in the upper echelons of our economy,” he said.
The disparity at the top of South Africa’s corporate ladder exists despite legislation aimed at correcting the legacy of racial exclusion under apartheid.
The minister pointed to “resistance to change with people trying to protect the privileges of the past”.
He is pushing for amending laws to force employment equity through specific numerical targets.
“We feel that if we dont compel them… they are not going to move,” he said.
The report came as unemployment rose to 32.6 percent in the first three months of this year, a record high in 13 years, with the total number of jobless increasing to 7.2 million partly as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.