South Africa may be far away from reaching gender and race-based employment equity, but professional African females are making headway, according to the Commission for Employment Equity’s 21st annual report released Friday.
The commission said in its 21st annual report that 24 percent of the professionally skilled positions in South Africa were occupied by African females in 2020, followed by 22.7 percent African males, 18.2 percent white males and 14 percent white females.
Commission for Employment Equity chairperson Tabea Kabinda said in the report, however, that in line with previous reports, the pace of transformation overall continues to be too slow in the work place. She said the dominance of whites and Indians at top and senior management, while remaining under-represented at the semi-skilled and unskilled occupational levels, could not be ignored, as this continues to follow the patterns created by apartheid policies.
White and Indian females also dominate the top two tiers of management. This meant that in terms of race and gender intersectionality, African and coloured females continue to bear the brunt of discrimination, said Kabinda.
She said the high percentage representation of foreign nationals at the unskilled occupational level “also remains a great concern”. This was “disconcerting given the high rate of unemployment.”
The commission received 27 127 employment equity reports from companies in 2019, versus 26 635 in 2020, a decrease of 1.8 percent.
Some 25 336 reports were received from the private sector covering 5.11 million employees in 2020, which amounted to 95.1 percent of all the reports received.
In top management 64.7 percent of the positions were occupied by the whites; followed by 15.8 percent Africans; 10.6 percent Indians; 5.7 coloureds and 3.1 percent foreign nationals. Males occupied 75.1 percent and females 24.9 percent of these positions. Africans occupied 60.8 percent of these positions in national government and whites 67.8 percent of these positions in the private sector.
In senior management, 52.5 percent of the positions were occupied by whites; followed by 24.7 percent Africans; 11.6 percent Indians; 8 percent coloureds and 3.1 percent foreign nationals. Males occupied 64.3 percent and females 35.7 percent of the positions. About 34.7 percent of the positions were occupied by white males, followed by 17.8 percent white females and 15.1 percent African males.
In professionally qualified positions, 46.7 percent of the positions were occupied by Africans, followed by 32.1 percent whites, 9.7 percent coloureds, 9.1 percent Indians and 2.4 percent foreign nationals.
In skilled technical occupations, 63.7 percent of the positions were occupied by Africans, followed by 17.6 percent whites, 11.6 percent coloureds, 5.4 percent Indians and 1.7 percent foreigners.
At the semi-skilled level, 44.4 percent of the positions were occupied by African males, followed by 31.4 percent African females, 9 percent white males and 8.6 percent white females at this level.
In unskilled positions, 83.7 percent of the positions were occupied by the African group, followed by 10.9 percent coloureds, 0.7 percent Indians, 0.9 percent whites and 3.7 percent foreign nationals.