Ramaphosa urges busi­ness to do more for blacks

Pretoria News - - BUSINESS REPORT - BANELE GININDZA banele.ginindza@inl.co.za | Ad­di­tional re­port­ing by Bloomberg

SOUTH African Pres­i­dent Cyril Ramaphosa yes­ter­day urged busi­nesses to do more to end the legacy of apartheid and give black peo­ple a mean­ing­ful role in the econ­omy, only a week af­ter com­ing un­der fire for ap­point­ing a white man as head of the coun­try’s largest state-owned com­pany.

“The sig­nif­i­cant progress that has been made in the public sec­tor has not been matched by the pri­vate sec­tor,” the pres­i­dent said in his weekly let­ter.

“Busi­ness needs to ur­gently do some se­ri­ous in­tro­spec­tion. Our trans­for­ma­tive agenda can­not suc­ceed un­less we work to­gether to broaden the par­tic­i­pa­tion of all South Africans in our econ­omy, and it be­gins in the work­place.”

The pres­i­dent last week fielded crit­i­cism over the state’s ap­point­ment of An­dre de Ruyter as chief ex­ec­u­tive of Eskom, the debt-stricken power util­ity.

The com­pany’s two largest unions said the ap­point­ment was a set­back for racial trans­for­ma­tion. The up­per ech­e­lons of man­age­ment in pri­vate com­pa­nies were still dom­i­nated by white men, al­though they make up just 5 per­cent of the eco­nom­i­cally ac­tive pop­u­la­tion, Ramaphosa wrote.

“Africans only make up 15 per­cent of top man­age­ment, de­spite ac­count­ing for 79 per­cent of the eco­nom­i­cally ac­tive pop­u­la­tion,” he said, cit­ing a re­ported re­leased by the Com­mis­sion for Em­ploy­ment Eq­uity in Au­gust.

Sheryl Pre­to­rius, the chief op­er­at­ing of­fi­cer of merSeta, re­spon­si­ble for, among oth­ers, the re­tail mo­tor in­dus­try, said yes­ter­day that race and gen­der trans­for­ma­tion sta­tis­tics from sec­tor skills plans still re­mained skewed.

She noted that up to March 2018, 76.4 per­cent of em­ploy­ees were male, and 60 per­cent black African, 22 per­cent white, 13 per­cent coloured and 5 per­cent In­dian. How­ever, whites dom­i­nated be­tween 60 and 49 per­cent of up­per and mid­dle man­age­ment re­spec­tively, while peo­ple with dis­abil­i­ties rep­re­sented only 2 per­cent com­pared to the tar­get of 7 per­cent.

JAIRUS MMUTLE African News Agency (ANA)

PRES­I­DENT Cyril Ramaphosa de­liv­ers the open­ing ad­dress at the sec­ond South Africa In­vest­ment Con­fer­ence held from Novem­ber 5 to 7 in the Sand­ton Con­ven­tion Cen­tre, Jo­han­nes­burg. |

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