It is just not possible to appoint employees to senior management levels and assume that they will be capable of making all the necessary decisions that could affect the survival of the enterprise itself.  One of the tragedies of South Africa is the government’s failure to appreciate that there is an distinct separate fourth occupational level.  Based on the current EEA9 thousands of employees are trapped in a level where they do not belong.  See Flawed EEA9: Seven occupational levels needed.  Sorting out that problem will enable thousands of employees to benefit from training and skills development to enable them to progress to the senior management levels.  See also: Equal pay for equal value: Lockout not unlawful.

See: Measurement: Equal pay and equal value

Official government policy is that all enterprises must have a framework with seven logical occupational levels to ensure that all enterprise decisions are taken at the appropriate management level.  There also has to be a constant proportional progression across all seven levels.  Within one occupational level there could be pay differences of up to 100%.  Employees in the top three levels are regarded as senior managers.  Starting from the top senior managers decide:

  • goal setting (policy);
  • strategy; and
  • tactics.

To enable them to do this senior managers require knowledge and understanding and the ability to apply it in the best interests of the enterprise. Based on Bloom’s taxonomy senior managers also need to be able to analyse, synthesize and evaluate situations.  These skills can only be developed over time on the job.  It is also important to understand the concept of sapiential authority.  Salaries of such employees, as opposed to line authority, also have to be measured on the same scale as line managers in an enterprise.  Think of a university with all the lecturers and professors!

Call on company bosses to drive employment equity: Bekezela Phakathi’s report in BDlive on 19/9/2016 published by Business Day.


“The report found the racial profile of top management in SA remained overwhelmingly white and male.  Whites in the private sector accounted for 72.4% of all top management positions — compared to the public sector, which has 73.2% African representation.  In the Western Cape, just more than 75% of top management positions were occupied by whites, the Department of Labour said.  Oliphant said the Commission for Employment Equity would engage with business leaders to establish what causes the snail’s pace of workplace transformation.

. . . . .

Cape Chamber of Commerce president Janine Myburgh said the chamber fully supported the principles of employment equity but “it is difficult to generalise about the percentage of top managers who are white”.  “Conditions differ from industry to industry and many of them are affected by skills shortages, particularly in engineering and scientific industries.  We encourage our members to implement employment equity and broad-based BEE principles but we are not in a position to intervene,” she said.  “However, talent is equally distributed irrespective of race, and once the required skills become more evenly spread among the population, we expect the ratio of management in terms of race to approach that which reflects society at large.  But we fully support the implementation and ethos of BEE,” said Myburgh”.