THE Black Management Forum (BMF) has noticed an unprecedented reversal of transformation benefits and employment equity has in various sectors, including agriculture, financial services, manufacturing and mining.
At a CEO breakfast hosted by BMF and Transnet in Johannesburg on Friday, BMF deputy president Thebakazi Mnyaka said pro-transformation organisations were “being infiltrated” by those opposed to transformation.
Ms Mnyaka added that the symptoms of slow transformation in the mining sector were made clear in the recent strike by workers at the world’s third-largest platinum producer Lonmin’s Marikana operations.
“Some have taken the turn of recent events and have allowed themselves to serve (their) self interest. We cannot achieve anything through anarchy but that is what we are seeing happening in the recent mining disputes. This is also a microcosm of what is happening in society,” she said.
Secretary-general of the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM), Frans Baleni, said there were counter revolutionary organisations exploiting the plight of workers, mobilising workers with the aim of hurt business and the economy.
“If you have no options and no backbone you are easily influenced by others and you become a time bomb,” he said.
“You will find in instances that one of us succeeds and others will make an effort to pull them down instead of supporting one another as organisations, but we have this extra energy when it comes to fighting amongst ourselves,” Mr Baleni said.
He said there was a drop in employment trends in the mining sector and inconsistencies in labour and management of South African mines.
“When I started in 1987 the industry hired over 800,000 people. It was an army. That workforce is down to just below 500,000,” he said.
Mr Baleni said the mining industry did not measure up to the transformation expectations put in place by the mining charter that aimed to push for transformation of a quarter of mine ownership.
“The mining industry is not performing very well. If you look at ownership by 2014 it’s supposed to be 26%. Many companies claimed they have realised this but we do not agree and maintain that were still far from 26%,” he said.
BMF managing director Nicholas Maweni said the organisation found the pace of transformation in the four sectors problematic.
“We are very frustrated with the slow transformation in the sector. We found that the challenges speak to what we do as BMF. We have never been keen on charters because they are not consistent,” Mr Maweni said.
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