“The statistician general’s report… further confirms that the majority of our companies are still purely profit-oriented and not concerned about social transformation,” Congress of SA Trade Unions spokesman Patrick Craven said.
He was reacting to a comparison of Statistics SA data from the 1994 October household survey and the 2014 quarterly labour force survey, which statistician general Pali Lehohla presented on Monday.
Among the findings was that in the last 20 years there has been little movement towards skilled employment among the black workforce.
In 1994, 15 percent of black workers were in skilled jobs. This increased only three percent, to 18 percent, in 2014.
The report revealed that among black youth aged 25 to 34, there had been a decrease in those in skilled jobs. In 1994 the figure stood at 17 percent, and by 2014 had dropped to 15 percent.
Many companies were merely paying lip service to skills development and employment equity, Craven said.
Cosatu believed skills development was inseparable from transformation processes.
“It also further confirms the obvious fact that employers, or the so-called free market, cannot advance the social cause of transformation.”
The union federation attributed this to short-sightedness.
Cosatu called for more teacher training, more agriculture and nursing colleges and better basic education to boost maths, science, commerce and technology skills.
“We further urge the state to know that no country has addressed racial inequalities through free markets, which are purely profit-driven and nothing else,” Craven said.