Cape Town challenges equity report

Cape Town mayor Dan Plato has challenged a report that suggests the city is lagging when it comes to employment equity.

He was reacting to a study commissioned by the Employment Equity Programme, which found that black professionals were under-represented in city businesses.

Plato told a city council meeting on Wednesday that the findings reflected the “selective study” of only some companies in the retail, finance and petro-chemical industries.

He said neither the City of Cape Town nor many of its leading industries—agriculture, tourism, advertising and the creative arts—were consulted.

The city was the Western Cape’s largest employer and he wanted to make the public aware of the progress it was making in integration and employment equity.

“The City of Cape Town far exceeds most of the benchmark targets for employment equity,” said Plato.

The benchmark for black males was 15,8%, and the city stood at 16,5%.

The target for coloured males was 27,3%, while the city had a rating of 44,3%.

For white males the figures were 10% and 9,4%, which showed that no special preference was being given to whites.

The city was pushing employment equity through bursaries, learnerships, graduate internships and many career and succession plans.

It was already in partnership with the four tertiary institutions in the Western Cape in a bid to address the low number of black professionals willing to relocate to Cape Town.

This partnership should be expanded to local businesses and other stakeholders.

“There is little point in each employer ‘going it alone’ on this issue,” said Plato.

The study he was reacting to was conducted by Sabie Surtee and Martin Hall.

They examined 13 Western Cape businesses, which together employed about 60 000 people in management positions.

Local media reported that it showed the city was “racist”.—Sapa

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