Only 1 in 5 South African executives are black says Mildred


South Africa’s workplaces are still heavily racially skewed 20 years after the fall of apartheid, with only one fifth of top executive positions held by blacks, said a report published this week.

“The majority of work places are still ‘lilly white’ at the top and often male over-represented, with a few pockets of black and women executives,” Labour Minister Mildred Oliphant said, referring to the findings by a special commission in her ministry.

Overall, blacks represent around 75% of South Africa’s economically active population, compared to just under 11% of whites. Yet almost two-thirds of senior roles in Africa’s second-largest economy were held by whites last year, according to the study, compared with 19.8% of black people.

South Africans of Indian descent held 8.4% of top jobs while those of mixed race had 5.1% of positions. Foreign nationals filled up the remaining 4.1%.

The disparity at the top of South Africa’s corporate ladder exists despite employment equity legislation to address the legacy of racial exclusion in the labour market created by apartheid.

The ANC government, which has ruled South Africa since the first post-apartheid elections in 1994, has been criticised for not doing enough to address poverty.

Large disparities

Meantime in a separate report, the statistics office pointed to “large disparities” in average earnings between racial groups in a country rated one of the most unequal societies in the world.

Statistics South Africa said that last year, median earnings of the white population group increased to R10,500 while among the coloured workers it declined.

“At R2,600 in 2013, the earnings of black Africans amounted to barely 25% of white earnings,” said Stats SA.

The labour market figures come just a month ahead of elections that promise to be the toughest ever faced by the ruling African National Congress.

A key issue is the job market: out of a working age population of 35m, only around 15m South Africans are actually employed.

Stats SA’s report found that just 400,000 formal jobs were created in the five years up to 2013.

In a separate development, South Africa last week lost its position as Africa’s largest economy to Nigeria after Abuja announced a long-overdue re-basing of the country’s gross domestic product.

Source: AFP via I-Net Bridge



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