A skewed representation in top management – EE reveals
24 August 2023

While the majority of the African Economic Active Population (EAP) is at 80 percent in South Africa, only 16.9 percent of Africans are represented at the Top Management in the labour market.

According to the Department of Employment and Labour's Annual 2023 Employment Equity Report, African and females in general have been less represented compared to the White population group and the male gender counterpart.

White people are still holding the biggest share in the Top Management and Senior Management at 62.9 percent and 50.1 percent respectively, and only 8.0 percent of Whites are in their overall EAP in the country.

The South African workplaces continue to be defined in racial and gender exclusion tendencies and when the Employment Equity (EE) Act was introduced in 1998, it was hoped that it would address the situation.

Due to the lack of improvement in transforming the workplaces, the Department of Employment and Labour through the Commission for Employment Equity (CEE) initiated a process to amend legislation to help facilitate the speed of equity in the labour market.

From the 18 July 2023, the Department and the Commission for Conciliation Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) embarked on the national roadshow to discuss and create awareness of the new amended EE legislation.

The Department of Employment and Labour today (24 August 2023) hosted the EE Workshop at the Mayfair Hotel, at Mthatha in the Eastern Cape, under the theme: “Real transformation makes business sense". 

The Department's EE Deputy Director, Mr Innocent Makwarela, said: “Regarding the new Amendment, people are miss interpreting it. They are miss interpreting what the Department wants to do. We are not giving quarters, we are giving amendments and it's a sector target."

“But when you go out to the streets, you find that people are just trying to score the political games. For us (Department of Employment and Labour), it's not about the political games. It's about what we want to achieve as the country," said Mr Makwarela.

Mr Makwarela said African people are still predominant in the last two levels of the labour market: at 48.4% of the professionally qualified by population group level and at 65.3% at the skilled-technical by population group level.

At the Top Management by population group in the 2023 EE Report, statistics sate that: White, 62%; African, 16.9%; Coloured, 6.1%; Indian, 11.2%; Foreign National, 3.0%, and males are at 73.5%, while females are at 26.5% in the Top Management by gender. 

In Senior Management by population group, the EE Report states that: White, 50.1%; African, 26.4%; Indian, 12.3%; Coloured, 8.2%; Foreign National at 3.1% and males are at 62.8% and females at 37.2% in the Senior Management by gender.


The remaining EE workshops will be held as follows:  

Eastern Cape

  • East London (25 August 2023) - Hotel Osner, Court Crescent, Esplanade


  • Durban (30 August 2023) - Southern Sun Elangeni & Maharani, 63 Snell Parade, North Beach

Western Cape

  • Cape Town (13 September 2023) – Lagoon Beach Hotel & Spa, 1 Lagoon Gate Drive, Lagoon Beach

The EE workshops are targeted at Employers or Heads of organisations, Academics, Assigned Senior Managers, Consultative forum members, Human Resource Practitioners, Trade Unions, employees and other interested stakeholders.

The national workshops are held from 10:00am to 14:00pm and members of the media are invited.

For media enquiries, contact:

Teboho Thejane

Departmental Spokesperson

082 697 0694/ Teboho.Thejane@labour.gov.za




Issued by: Department of Employment and Labour​