Harsh measures needed to enforce EE - Thulas Nxesi

Labour minister says CEE report found that at top management 65.5% of positions occupied by whites

Harsh measures to ensure compliance with employment equity – Employment and Labour Minister, TW. Nxesi

27 August 2019

Employment and Labour Minister TW Nxesi has expressed concern at a slow pace of workplace transformation, and promised that Government will now be forced to resort to harsh measures to ensure transformation in the workplaces.

Nxesi said the amending of the Employment Equity (EE) Act will be fast-tracked. The Minister said the Bill was submitted for amendment during the last administration.

“Our intention is to resuscitate legislation that could not go through. We hope Parliament will prioritise the bills because their amendments were at advanced stage,” he further said the Department was prioritising increasing the number of inspectors.

He reiterated that those who do not comply with the laws of the country must face the music and be punished. He further said non-compliance has forced the Commission for Employment Equity (CEE), together with the Department of Employment and Labour to set the equity targets.

Nxesi said: “we are not just talking about a single solution, but a range of solutions to deal with problems in the economy and workplace”.

A critical area of EE Act amendment is the review of Section 53 that will require the issuing of an annual certificate of compliance to organisations doing business with the State and its organs.

The Minister was speaking during his acceptance of the report and the register from the Commission for Employment Equity Chairperson Tabea Kabinde. The event was held at the Government Communication & Information System (GCIS) offices in Pretoria.

The 19th CEE report titled: “Transformation makes business sense” – shows that at top management 65.5% of the positions were occupied by the White group; followed by the African group 15.1%; Indian group 9.7%; Coloured group 5.3% & Foreign National 3.4%.

In the report under review, males occupied 76.5% of the positions and females 23. 5%. Africans occupied 76.0% of the positions in Government and Whites occupied 69.6% of the positions in the Private Sector. Males occupied 77.7% in Private sector and Females 22.3%.

Males occupied 67% in Government sector and Females 33.0%. Persons with Disabilities constitute 1.3% at top management level.

Kabinde said at a broad level, the trends continue to paint a picture of a very slow, but steady pace of transformation especially at the top four occupational levels. She said it was critical of Government and social partners to make transformation a shared objective.

“We expect that when employers are slow in transforming, worker activism will nudge the employers,” she said.

South Africa’s national economically active population (EAP) by population and gender group shows that Africans constitute (78 percent); Coloureds (9,6 percent); Indians (2,7 percent); and Whites (9,0 percent).

The Commission for Employment Equity is a statutory body established in terms of Section 28 of Employment Equity Act, No 55 of 1998 (EEA). Its function is to advise the Minister of Employment and Labour on policy and any other matters concerning the EE Act.

The report also showed that transformation in terms of gender representation has also remained steady but slow.

Kabinde said the professionally qualified representation was interesting in than 40.2% of the positions were occupied by the African group, followed by White population group 37.4%, Indian group 9.4%, Coloured group 10% and Foreign Nationals 3.0%.

Africans represent a whopping “army” of unskilled workforce with 83.7% of positions occupied by the group; followed by 11.0% Coloured, 3.5% Foreign Nationals, 1.1% Whites group and 0.8% from the Indian group, said the report.

EE numbers at a glance

There was a 1.2% (320) increase in the number of reports received from 27 163 in 2017 to 27 485 in 2018.

A total of 44% of reports received were from Gauteng, followed by 20.8% from Western Cape, 15.1% from KwaZulu-Natal and 5.6% from Mpumalanga.

18.0% of the reports received were from Manufacturing, followed by 13.4% from Agriculture, 13.2% Wholesale trade, 11.5% Finance & business services and 9.8 % from Construction.

A total of 27485 reports were received covering 7 415 876 employees in 2018, with 95% of them received from the Private Sector.

Issued by Makhosonke Buthelezi, Acting Departmental Spokesperson, Department of Labour, 27 August 2019