BUSA PRESENTATION TO THE PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE OF LABOUR ON DISCRIMINATION IN THE WORK PLACE.
BUSA welcomes the opportunity
BUSA is a unified and fully representative organisation that contributes
Founded towards the
end of 2003, BUSA aims to ensure that organised business plays a constructive
role, within the context of the country’s economic growth, development and
transformation goals, in achieving an environment in which businesses of all
sizes and in all sectors can thrive, expand and be competitive both nationally
Our submission will attempt to deal with both the positives and negatives as it would be incorrect to focus on any one of the two. BUSA believes that in responding to the negative challenges we need to recognize, acknowledge and enforce our successes.
BUSA fully supports and
is committed to the national strategies to transform the economy as part of our
drive to create a non-racial and non sexist
BUSA participated in
the drafting of transformation legislation and guidelines and will continue to
advocate the implementation and adherence thereto. The eradication of all forms of
discrimination is firmly on the BUSA agenda and in this regard we have a
permanent standing committee chaired by Mr
We recognise that the challenges of discrimination at the workplace rears its ugly head in various forms, e.g. race, gender, disability, religion and even sadly in the area of HIV and AIDS. We propagate a stance of zero tolerance against any forms of unfair discrimination.
We are pleased that
there appears to be a general acceptance of the need for transformation and the
elimination of unfair discrimination but as is often the case there is a clear
gap between good intentions and implementation.
Since 1993 a lot of
positive developments have taken place in the business environment. There has certainly been progress in many
areas in addressing previously unacceptable policies and behaviour and it is
important that we recognise and applaud those business men and women who continually
On the positive we have seen significant progress that we can not ignore if we want
Since 1994 most medium and large
companies have revised their internal policies and procedures
There has been a steady increase in the
number of black executives at
On another hand there has been an
increase of 9, 2% of women in
Companies are certainly making an effort
Although women representation on boards of JSE listed companies increased by 1.1%
BUSA welcomes and supports the leadership
role that some sec
Notwithstanding the positives, BUSA is
concerned that some companies have not come
As BUSA, as much as we applaud those who are making
concerted efforts, we will not defend or speak well of those in the business
world who are either doing very little, nothing or who even are agitating
We need to identify some of the symptoms that have contributed to this lack of progress.
There has been a lack of “thinking out
of the box” and therefore not identifying creative ways of addressing
transformation challenges by some companies.
We are concerned at the inadequate moni
Hand in hand with the inadequate moni
One of the drawbacks in the business
environment has been an intellectual commitment by many players without a
concomitant emotional commitment or “commitment from the heart”. It is this latter commitment that has created
the previously referred to pockets of excellence.
Economic realities have also dictated
patterns in the broad addressing of transformation evidencing that where there
are pressure points delivery tends to be accelerated, e.g. government
procurement and the issuing of licences.
In many instances a lack of progress can
be equated to a lack of strong leadership in the transformation arena with the key
issues being relegated to non “business agendas” and being dealt with by support
functions rather than core business functions.
Inadequate reviewing of processes and
policies that directly impact on the elimination of discrimination and that
Too many instances of justifying non
compliance instead of finding ways of complying. A lack of adequate skills often given as a
reason for non compliance with very little effort having been made over the
past 13 years
Lack of attention and focus on
addressing gender imbalances. Although the number of women executive managers has
increased, indications are that, in relative terms, women are losing ground in
this category. According to the BWA Census Report 2006 the latest results show
that, based on information submitted by respondent companies, 16.8% of
executive management positions are held by women, compared to 19.8% for the
previous year. The decline is significant given the substantial increase in the
overall number of executive management positions (from 5558 in the 2005 Census
to 7890 in the 2006 study).
In 2005 and 2006, of the 362 directorships held by women, 48, 1% were held by black women. This is in sharp contrast to the race split in executive management positions, which shows that 77% of all women executive managers in
The decrease in the employment of
persons with disability from 1% to 0, 7%.
Many developmental opportunities being
missed through inept or inadequate planning.
Perhaps the question that now needs
As indicated in the introduction BUSA supports government policy and legislation encouraging transformation and we are open minded in exploring areas that need
Some initiatives that are being considered include inter alia the following:
A renewed commitment by business leaders
to accelerate transformation with a definite link to the eradication of
discrimination at the workplace.
Explore better monitoring through
co-regulation, self regulation and private-public sector partnerships.
Specific sector based initiatives.
The development of transformation guides.
The implementation of annual BUSA
Improved links between business and the
• Capacity building of previously disadvantaged business groups.
Implementation of the Employment Equity Act and other transformation legislation is not a “nice to have” but rather a national and business imperative and BUSA will increase its efforts in facilitating delivery.