Labour Minister Membathisi Mdladlana has issued a strong warning to those employers who refuse to comply with procedural requirements of the Employment Equity Act, saying the net is closing in on them.
"It is discouraging to learn that there are employers who are still outside the 'Zoo'. I refer to employers who are refusing to even comply with the procedural requirements of the Act. These are employers who are still not accounted for in the Employment Equity Public Register. "They have only a few months left as the net is closing down on them," he said.
The minister added that before the reporting deadline of 1 October 2004, the Employment Equity Database would have a complete universe of designated employers.
Labour inspectors would use the information on the database to follow up on those who had not reported.
Head of the Commission for Employment Equity Mapule Ramashala said although South Africa still had a long way to go to achieve employment equity, employers generally appreciated the significance thereof in the transforming the country.
"It appears that momentum is building as demonstrated in the increase of employment of blacks in general and females in top and senior management positions.
"However the drop in the representation of Africans and females at the professional and middle management level of employment is worrisome since this level is considered a 'feeder' to senior management positions," she explained.
The CEE's annual report for 2002 showed that Blacks (Africans, Coloureds and Indians) only accounted for 19 percent of all top management positions countrywide.
Only 22 percent occupied senior management positions while they accounted for 32 percent of the legislators.
In terms of gender, females only hold 14 percent of top management positions and account for only 26 percent of legislators.
The report also found data on disability unsatisfactory, with available data on people with disabilities showing they only accounted for approximately one percent of all recruits and constituted just over two percent of terminations.
"With recruitments being at one percent and terminations at two percent, it remains unquestionable that the improvement is insignificant.
The minister expressed confidence that if employers made use of the Code of Good Practice on the Employment of People with Disabilities, more could be achieved to ensure the disabled were accommodated across all levels and categories in the workplace.
"I want to reiterate that Employment Equity should not be reduced only to race and gender.
'There are people with disabilities who deserve to be employed and without whose employment we cannot say that our advances are contributing to a better life for all," he said.