Black people are 'under-represented in top positions at JSE listed companies'

Zweli Mokgata

Zweli Mokgata

Transformation in South Africa has turned into a stagnant affair where black people are "severely under-represented" in executive positions at JSE listed companies, say analysts. This was highlighted this week with the Public Investment Corporation's (PIC) criticism of Barloworld for its lack of black board members.

The industrial brand management company was quick to respond though, appointing Isaac Shongwe as chief executive of its Logistics Africa business at its yearly shareholders' meeting yesterday after scathing remarks by PIC chief executive Brian Molefe earlier this week.

It also appointed Dumisa Ntsebeza as acting chairman to replace Warren Clewlow.

Molefe said that listed companies "are not as transformed as they should be" and should take action themselves rather than waiting for external input.

He has vowed to use his influence on other companies that were dragging their feet on transformation issues.

Empowerdex research manager Dumisani Nxumalo said that though there have been a significant number of appointments on the boards of large companies, there was not sufficient black representation in executive positions.

"Over the past year there was a 35 percent increase of black people on the boards of listed companies and a 104 percent rise of black women. However, the number of those entering executive positions was still very low," said Nxumalo.

Businesswomen's Association president Namane Magau said that Molefe was "spot on" in terms of his comments on transformation.

"Women are especially sidelined in the appointment of executive members," she said.