Manuel: SA Must Deracialise

Fin24.co.za, August 18, 2006

Johannesburg—The boardrooms of South Africa’s top companies are still too pale and too male, according to Finance Minister Trevor Manuel.

Delivering the David Wynne Lecture at Somerset College in the Western Cape, Manuel said that, as part of building a democracy, the country had to ensure that it deracialised the ownership of the economy which, under apartheid, vested almost exclusively in the hands of white men.

“Twelve years after the establishment of democracy, the picture is still not very pretty,” he asserted. “If we look at the statistics for Directors of the Top 100 Companies in South Africa—there are 2,489 Directors, of whom 202 are women (105 White Women and 97 Black women) and of remaining 2,287 Directors, 351 are Black men. In other words, 1,936 of the 2,489 Directors are White men. And, of all the 384 companies listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, only 1% have women as Chief Executive Officers.

“The same holds true for certain professions, such as Chartered Accountants, of whom there were 25,346, at last count. Of the total, only 5,827 (23%) are women, and of this number, 4,826, or 83% are White Women. Of the 19,519 male Chartered Accountants, 17,600, or 90% are White men,” Manuel added.

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