Yesterday, South Africa’s Minister of Labour Mildred Oliphant released the 17th Employment Equity Report and, the African National Congress (ANC) isn’t happy about whites occupying most of the management positions in the private sector.
Among other things, the Employment Equity Report specified that almost 70% of management positions in the private sector are occupied by whites and only 14%, by Africans.
That, ANC said, flies in the face of the call made by Nelson Mandela; “none of us acting alone can achieve success. We must, therefore, act together as a united people for national reconciliation, for nation building, for the birth of a new world,” the ruling party quoted the late leader and stated thus:
“Resistance and blatant disregard of the interventions introduced by the ANC-led government to drive redress, transformation and equity in the workplace is a stark indicator of how some amongst us remain contemptuous of the aspirations of the Black majority and Africans in particular.
It is further a rejection of efforts of our constitutional commitment to ‘heal the divisions of the past…improve the quality of life of all citizens and free the potential of each person’.
The South African majority enjoys political freedom which daily is being proven hollow without concomitant economic freedom, justice and redress.”
Having said that, the ruling party asked the government to demonstrate more urgency and decisiveness in dealing with errant employers resistant to change.
“Compliance with employment equity and affirmative action legislation is not an ‘optional extra’ for companies operating in South Africa, but an imperative.
“It is clear that it cannot be left up to capital to ‘self-correct’ or ‘self-regulate’.
“History and this EE report have shown that many corporates lay lip service to racial and gender transformation of their management structures,” said ANC.
Afterwards, ANC agitated that the radical economic transformation agenda must ensure the dismantling of South Africa’s current exclusionary economic order perpetuating inequality, social instability and uncertainty.
“All levers of state power must be utilised to effect transformation including amongst them a review of current legislation which may be lenient on such employers.
“We must also consider greater consequence management beyond fining for non-compliance to include judicial action for behaviour which is contrary to the spirit of the Constitution which has as one of its fundamental values the achievement of equality,” added the party.
More-so, the party asked the government to name and shame companies which are disdainful to the country’s transformative agenda and use its resources, including its purchasing power, to enforce compliance.
“…23 years since the inauguration of South Africa’s first democratically elected President we cannot continue buffering the anger of the black majority against the actions of an unrepentant and stubborn ruling class…
“Protecting white privilege at the expense of national reconciliation, nation building and the attainment of equality and opportunity for all people of South Africa” will no longer be tolerated, ANC upheld.