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CityPress - - Business - DE­WALD VAN REN­SBURG de­wald.vrens­burg@city­press.co.za

The odds are you will have a white boss for at least the next 20 years.

The rate at which black peo­ple are dis­plac­ing whites at the top of the job lad­der will only achieve a 50-50 split be­tween black and white “top man­agers” in the coun­try by 2036, ac­cord­ing to City Press cal­cu­la­tions.

The sheer num­ber of white peo­ple at the top means that even if all the coun­try’s em­ploy­ers froze the num­ber of white bosses, they would still be the ma­jor­ity un­til 2030.

The re­lease of the 16th an­nual re­port from the Com­mis­sion for Em­ploy­ment Eq­uity this week evoked the same re­ac­tion that the 15th re­port did be­fore it: shock at white dom­i­nance in the up­per end of the job mar­ket.

So-called top man­age­ment is 68.9% white across the state and pri­vate sec­tors, which is less than be­fore, but still as­ton­ish­ing 22 years af­ter apartheid. White dom­i­nance is fall­ing – but very slowly. If the in­flow of top man­agers at all the em­ploy­ers cap­tured in the re­port some­how matched the racial pro­file of South Africa’s eco­nom­i­cally ac­tive pop­u­la­tion, the fall of white dom­i­nance will come in 2033.

That is if the net in­flow into top man­age­ment is 10% white, 77% African, 10% coloured and 3% In­dian.

Labour Min­is­ter Mil­dred Oliphant this week ar­gued that the ap­par­ently high rate of white at­tri­tion il­lus­trates white mobility be­tween jobs at dif­fer­ent em­ploy­ers.

Oliphant this week promised that em­ploy­ers who did not com­ply with the Em­ploy­ment Eq­uity Act would be given six months “to rec­tify the sit­u­a­tion be­fore the might of the law takes its course”.

Ac­cord­ing to Oliphant’s spokesper­son, Sithem­bele Tsh­wete, this six months refers to a planned se­ries of road shows that the Com­mis­sion for Em­ploy­ment Eq­uity will em­bark on, start­ing in June.

“At the end of this pe­riod she [the min­is­ter] will re­ceive a re­port from the com­mis­sion that will give her a good pic­ture on what the is­sues are around non­com­pli­ance,” said Tsh­wete.

Tsh­wete could this week not con­firm ex­actly what em­ploy­ers stand ac­cused of not com­ply­ing with.

Up un­til 2014, the po­ten­tial penal­ties were re­stricted to fines of up to R900 000.

An amend­ment to the law in­tro­duced rev­enue-based fines rang­ing from 2% to 10%, tech­ni­cally cre­at­ing a vastly larger stick. That stick is, how­ever, prac­ti­cally never used.

De­spite be­ing in place for al­most 20 years, the Em­ploy­ment Eq­uity Act has re­sulted in al­most no pros­e­cu­tions or fines for non­com­pli­ance.

There are, how­ever, three well-known cases, two of which re­sulted in fines. Both fines were im­posed on Chi­nese-owned cloth­ing fac­to­ries in New­cas­tle in 2005 and 2007, re­spec­tively.

The depart­ment went to the labour court to im­pose a fine on Co­mair in 2009, but the court sided with the air­line op­er­a­tor and Bri­tish Air­ways fran­chisee that is re­spon­si­ble for Ku­l­ula.com.

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