Government behind on employment equity

Johannesburg – National government departments and parastatals were lagging behind provincial and local government when it came to employment equity, the South African Institute of Race Relations (IRR) said on Thursday.

According to the organisation’s South Africa Survey 2016, “the IRR found that only 54.9% of top managers in national government were black-African (59.4% in parastatals) compared to 73.8% at provincial government level and 75.7% at local government level.”

The survey made use of data from the Commission for Employment Equity.

IRR CEO Dr Frans Cronjé said that “the data is astonishing considering the government’s repeated insistence on the need for racial targets and representivity in every area of public life”.

IRR analyst Gabriela Mackay said that these statistics showed that despite government’s plea for all sectors of society to “achieve demographic representivity, it is apparent that national government is itself falling short of this outcome”.

Cronje said that perhaps the data indicated that “it is a positive sign that the government is losing faith in its own policies and may in time be open to reforms that place the economic good of the country above the current crippling obsession with meeting racial targets that have often been enforced at the expense of the economy and the best interests of South Africa’s people”.