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Top management in education still untransformed, equity report shows

IOL - NEWS / 29 AUGUST 2019 - 17:05 / STAFF WRITER

Cape Town – There has been an overall increase in the number of black African males and females in the higher education sector, but only a marginal advancement of this group at top management and senior management levels.

This is according to the 2019 Employment Equity Report published recently by the Commission for Employment Equity.

File photo: African News Agency (ANA)

The Higher Education Transformation Network said: “We note that the increase in the employment of Africans took place mostly in the Professionally Qualified to Unskilled Labour workforce profiles. The trends are consistent with our historic findings in the sector.”

According to the statistics, 35.5% of top management positions are occupied by white males, while 12.9% are occupied by black males.

Unskilled labour of black males makes up 34.6%, compared with 0.5% of unskilled labour being white male.

Of the total higher education sector workforce, 21.2% of professionally qualified staff are black males, 2.5% are black females, 11% are white males, and 22.2% are white females.

The network said in its joint study with the Commission for Gender Equity titled “Gender Transformation in the Higher Education Sector” published in September 2016, they found several indicators that belied a lack of gender transformation in the higher education sector in the form of: non-compliance with employment equity targets; contract employment of African females in junior administrative workforce roles; discriminatory workplace practices; workplace victimisations, poor career growth avenue for female staff; adverse organisational culture; disproportionate/secretive remuneration scales; and a high turnover of black or female staff.

“We emphasise that more needs to be done to attain the sector targets set in the National Development Plan Vision 2030 which states that universities should be welcoming for black and female teachers, students and researchers to ensure significant progress in reversing gender and racial imbalances in the higher education sector to ensure that Africans and women make up 50% of the teaching and research staff of universities.

“Twenty years after democracy, it remains unacceptable that African females only constitute 8.4% at top management and only 9.5% at senior management roles,” the network said.

It called the vice-chancellors and the Department of Higher Education and Training to take more meaningful steps to develop and employ more qualified and experienced black South African academics and commit themselves to the transformation of the higher education sector to eliminate socio-economic disparities.

The department did not reply to requests for comment by deadline.



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