Zille’s of­fice ac­cused of al­leged race bias

Top man­age­ment po­si­tions held by whites, other races ex­cluded

Cape Argus - - News - Ja­son Felix

SIXTY per­cent of the top man­age­ment po­si­tions in West­ern Cape premier Helen Zille’s of­fice are held by whites with not a sin­gle black, coloured or Indian women work­ing there. Zille and her depart­ment pre­sented their an­nual re­port to the West­ern Cape Leg­is­la­ture’s stand­ing com­mit­tee on the Premier.

The em­ploy­ment fig­ures for the depart­ment in the top and se­nior man­age­ment re­main largely un­re­flec­tive of the West­ern Cape’s de­mo­graph­ics. Ac­cord­ing to the statis­tics, only one black male oc­cu­pies a top man­age­ment job while there are three coloured and three white males.

ANC leader of op­po­si­tion, Khaya Ma­gaxa, raised the is­sue of de­mo­graph­ics in Zille’s depart­ment.

“There are too many whites in your depart­ment. We all know that coloured peo­ple are in the ma­jor­ity, with blacks in sec­ond place. The peo­ple in your of­fice does not re­flect the de­mo­graph­ics of this prov­ince. Why is it so dif­fi­cult to trans­form?” Ma­gaxa said.

Zille ap­peared to make a neg­a­tive ges­ture when Ma­gaxa posed the race ques­tion.

“Your ges­tures and at­ti­tude (when ask­ing that ques­tion) is un­be­com­ing of a leader. You should be­have be­cause you are the leader of this prov­ince,” he said.

Zille’s di­rec­tor-gen­eral, ad­vo­cate Brent Ger­ber, said there are only four white peo­ple in the top man­age­ment struc­ture, how­ever their of­fi­cial fig­ures, as at 31 March, shows oth­er­wise.

Ma­gaxa also re­ferred to the low tar­gets the de­part­ments had set them­selves.

“It seems as if you are set­ting the tar­get very low so that you can re­port to us, that you achieved much more. Do you not think that is cheat­ing on your side?” he asked.

In the fore­word of the an­nual re­port, Zille said the depart­ment will con­tinue to build part­ner­ships.

“We have es­tab­lished with other spheres of gov­ern­ment, non-gov­ern­men­tal or­gan­i­sa­tions and the pri­vate sec­tor to im­ple­ment game chang­ers,” she said.

Ger­ber said: “The con­tin­ued weak­ened eco­nomic out­look and sub­se­quent com­pen­sa­tion of em­ploy­ees cer­tainly tight­ened the de­part­men­tal bud­get fur­ther. To en­sure the achieve­ment of de­part­men­tal pre­de­ter­mined ob­jec­tives against a di­min­ished bud­get, em­pha­sis shifted to an in­crease in eval­u­a­tions and mon­i­tor­ing,” he said.

PIC­TURE: AR­MAND HOUGH/ANA

UN­DER FIRE: Helen Zille is in hot wa­ter over al­le­ga­tions that her of­fice mainly ap­points whites to top po­si­tions.

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