Black South Africans are progressing up the jobs ladder, but
slowly, according to the national employment equity figures released by the
Department of Labour.
Stripped of veneer, the rows and rows of numbers reveal a
stark reality – some jobs and some provinces are more equal than others, and
the higher the qualification and payment levels, the higher the white
Representation in South Africa’s job market
The lower the qualifications and pay, the higher the black representation. Black South Africans are strongly represented at all levels in the public sector, but less so in the private sector.
Of all the figures, 44% was submitted from Gauteng, 21% from
the Western Cape, 15% from KwaZulu-Natal, 5% from Mpumalanga and 15% from the
other five provinces. In total, about 7,5 million employees and more than
27 000 employers were covered, mostly in manufacturing, agriculture,
wholesale trade and construction.
In top management, 65% of the positions countrywide are held
by whites, and 77% of the country’s top management jobs are held by men. In
state employment, 76% of top managers in the public sector are black, whereas
69% of private sector top managers are white.
In the private sector, 77% of top management positions are
occupied by men, and in the public sector, male top management dominance comes
In agriculture, 85% of top management is white, in retail it
is 75% and in wholesale the figure is 70%. Black South Africans constitute 77%
of top management in provincial government and 76% in provincial government.
Senior management countrywide is 54% white, 23% black, 11%
Indian, 8% Coloured, 3% foreign and 65% male. In the state sector, 71% of
senior managers are black, and in the private sector, 60% of senior management
The skilled and unskilled labour force
The province with the highest number of white senior managers is the Western Cape at 62% followed by the Free State on 59% and the Eastern Cape with 57%.
As far as professionally qualified workers go, whites
narrowly rule the roost nationally on 40%, followed by blacks (37%), Indians
(9%) and Coloureds (9%). In the state, 65% of professionally qualified workers
are black, whereas in the private sector 45% of professionally qualified
workers are white.
Provincially, 85% of professionally qualified workers in
Limpopo are black, as are 62% in Mpumalanga, 55% in the Eastern Cape and 52% in
Moving to skilled technical workers, 63% nationally are
black, 18% are white, 11% are Coloured, 5% are Indian and 1% is foreign. In
Limpopo, 92% of skilled technical workers are black. In Mpumalanga, the figure
is 80% and in North West 76%.
The national picture for semi-skilled workers is that they
are 75% black, 12% Coloured, 5% white, 3% Indian and 2% foreign.
The unskilled workforce is made up of 83% blacks, 11% Coloured, 4% foreigners, 1% whites and 1% Indians, with black South Africans now the majority in every province.