The government has cancelled its employment equity award ceremony planned for August because of private sector indifference.
Instead of offering businesses a carrot, a stick was waved at six large corporations for making "little or no progress towards achieving demographic representation in the workplace".
The six singled out were Kumba Resources, Comair, Verimark Holdings, Medi-Clinic Group, Prism Holdings and Omnia Group.
Sowetan had little success in getting comment from these companies yesterday. Their human resource heads were invariably locked in meetings all day.
"Prism was named in this report last year. That information is a year old and since then we are working with the Labour Department to address this issue," said Lawrie Chalmers, group human resources manager for Net1, which purchased shares of Prism Holdings last year.
Commission for Employment Equity chairman Jimmy Manyi said that compliance with the Employment Equity Act was at "an all-time low", especially among the top 100 listed companies on the JSE.
The Employment Equity Act orders companies with 50 to 150 workers to submit reports on the racial make-up of their workforce every two years. Companies with more than 150 employees must submit reports yearly to the Labour Department.
The six companies have been threatened with legal action if they fail to respond to the recommendations of the commission by August, Manyi said.
This naming-and-shaming action was criticised by trade union Solidarity.