Transformation at top level not enough - Busa

Johannesburg – The current pace of transformation, especially at top management level is not enough, said Business Unity South Africa (BUSA).

BUSA was responding to the findings of the 17th Commission for Employment Equity (CEE) Annual Report, which was released on Tuesday.

READ: Little has changed on employment equity front - report

The report reflected a “painfully slow pace of transformation” in the South African labour market, according to Labour Minister Mildred Oliphant. The minister took aim at corporates which have been neglecting transformation in the workplace.

“It is very concerning that there are just too many JSE listed companies that are completely ignoring the law,” said Oliphant.  So far, 21 JSE companies have been fined for non-compliance with the Employment Equity Act requirements and several others are yet to be fined.

READ: Oliphant: JSE firms culprits in stalling transformation

The key findings showed the progress of transformation at different levels within organisations.

The majority (68.5%) of top management positions are occupied by the white population, contrasting with 14.4% of top management positions occupied by the African population.

At senior management level, 58.1% of the positions are occupied by the white population. The African population occupies 22.1% of these positions, the report revealed.

BUSA highlighted that the pace of change is insufficient to make the necessary shifts to transform the workforce at senior levels.

“Unless we take meaningful steps so that our workforce reflects the broad demographics of our society at every level, we will miss the opportunity to leverage the full human resource potential that South Africa has to offer”,  said CEO, Tanya Cohen. 

“The time has come to move beyond administrative compliance into substantial action”, added Cohen.

Employment Equity and skills development, are both critical to enable transformation and to ensure inclusive growth and employment in the future, according to the organisation. 

BUSA subsequently indicated its commitment to work with the labour department, the CEE  and organised labour to find solutions. 

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