Equity: our shocking reality

2011-08-06 00:00

SO the Commission for Employment Equity has conducted a study which has concluded that there are still huge disparities and inequalities in top management in the leading companies in this country.

Due to our history, whites still occupy over 73% of top management positions, while the majority black population occupies only 13% of top positions, Indians seven percent and coloureds five percent.

The study, which appeared in the commission's 11th annual report, also revealed that while whites make up over 73% of top management, they only make up almost 12% of the economically active population in South Africa. Blacks make up almost 74% of the population, with just 13% in top management, and they have improved from their 2006 position by about 1,5%, while whites have gone down by less than a percentage point.

Perhaps what is even more shocking about these statistics is that at the current rate, it would take 127 years for the situation to reflect the demographic reality of the economically active population.

What I would like to know is why we need a study to reveal these facts.

Are we so blind to our realities that we need to commission studies to reveal the facts and realities we know and live with?

Perhaps it's merely to prove that we were systematic in reaching our findings.

There are a few things, if unattended to, that have the potential to undo all the good work we did in fighting apartheid and dispensing the fruits of the democracy that we now enjoy. These are the issues of land, and wealth creation and sharing.

It is for the latter reason that the United States will one day be turned on its head, as two percent of its population owns about 90% of the wealth.

Earlier this week, we saw how the country's debt level has increased by a couple of trillion dollars as they sink deeper into debt.

The 98% of the population that owns 10% of the wealth will be fed up soon and they will demand what they think they deserve.

The same applies to South Africa. For this reason, it is important that South Africa helps its neighbouring countries emancipate themselves as if we do not, they will continue to jump our borders to seek a better life in South Africa.

It is in the interests of the white South Africans, who make up the more than 70% of the top management positions, to pull their fellow black, Indian and coloured South Africans up the ladder, before they burn down the house because of their frustrations with the system.

Suggestions for the nationalisation of mines and the (forceful) redistribution of land (if need be) stem from people's feelings that the issues are not being dealt with.

I have always maintained that we will not go down the Zimbabwe road, but it is those who still own and control the vast majority of our country's resources who will ensure that we go down that road if they refuse to accommodate and share with their equally deserving fellow South Africans.

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