EE report shows slight advances for blacks

2014-04-09 17:55

The latest annual report of the Commission on Employment Equity (CEE) shows a slightly improved picture for black advancement into desirable jobs, but no radical changes from the last comparable one that was done two years ago.

With 4 984 large employers contributing information this year, the sample now seems to cover a significant part of the formal economy. The employers covered employ 5.6 million of the 8.5 million employees in the formal sector.

» In these companies, there are 22 571 jobs categorised as “top management” of which 19.8% belong to black African employees. Whites have 62.7% of the top jobs.

» Of the 84 527 “senior managers”, 23% are black, 7% coloured, 10.1% Indian and 57% white.

» Of the 417 996 “professional” employees, 38.4% are African, 9.6% are coloured, 9.4% are Indian and 40.6% are white.

» Of the 1 447 224 “skilled” employees, 59.2% are African, 11.3% are coloured, 5.9% are Indian and 22% are white.

» Of the 1 914 429 “semiskilled” employees, 75.7% are African, 11.6% coloured, 3.2% Indian and 6.7% white.

» Of the 965 696 “unskilled” employees, 85.2% are African, 9.8% are coloured, 0.9% Indian and 1% are white.

At the release of the new CEE report, Labour Minister Mildred Oliphant lashed out at critics of employment equity as well as of the new regulations her department recently released for comment.

The regulations cover many different aspects of the EE regime and include a new formula for calculating the EE targets in different provinces, given the different demographics.

The new formula makes employers use mostly national demographics with some adjustments for provincial numbers.

One consequence is that coloured people move from being under-represented in most job categories to becoming over-represented in the Western Cape and the Northern Cape where most of the coloured population lives.

People who say this will negatively affect the black minorities are “lying”, Oliphant said today.

Instead, the new regulations are meant to improve the implementation of EE, she said.

Oliphant diverged from her prepared speech significantly, repeatedly reminding the audience that she was deployed by the ANC and would implement its policies.

“Our responsibility as the ANC is to implement the Freedom Charter,” she said, adding that she was speaking as an ANC deployee.

While amendments to the Employment Equity Act and the new regulations will go through consultative processes at Nedlac and take on board public comments, the final version will have to be signed by the minister of labour.

“As long as the labour minister is from the ruling party, the regulations will reflect the act,” she said.

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