Black engineers up, but not enough
Written by defenceWebWednesday, 15 September 2010 16:24
A new study has found the number of black engineers registering with the Engineering Council of South Africa (ECSA) has increased. But the study, by a think tank of the trade union Solidarity, says the total number of engineers registering is down. It blames this on a decrease in the number of white engineers.
Solidarity spokesman Paul Joubert said in a media release that “the number of professional engineers who registered with … ECSA decreased by 40.4% between 1994 and 2008. This drop can be attributed to a 54.1% drop in the number of white engineers who registered with ECSA. By contrast, the number of black engineers who registered rose by 111.6%. The number of Africans registering as engineers increased by 126.1% over the same period. Coloured South Africans registering increased by 80% and Indians increased by 100%.”
More widely, the Solidarity Research Institute (SRI) says the number of qualified black South Africans in the professions, including accounting, information technology and the medical industry, rose by between 30% and 507%. SRI head Johan Kruger says the number of black South Africans (Africans, Indians and Coloured South Africans) who are registered with the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA) increased by 248% between 1994 and 2008.
In the information technology industry the number of black graduates rose by 507.6% between 1996 and 2005. Furthermore, the number of black medical practitioners increased by more than 30% in only three years (between 2007 and 2010) and the number of black attorneys admitted, increased by more than 78% between 1999 and 2008.
These findings form part of the SRI’s fifth report of the SA Transformation Monitor (SAT Monitor). The SAT Monitor is designed to determine the extent to which black South Africans have benefitted from black economic empowerment (BEE) since the start of democracy in South Africa. “The number of employees in the professional sector rose considerably between 1994 and 2008, with the representation of black South Africans and especially Africans showing the biggest increase,” says Kruger. “By contrast, the representation of whites in accounting professions, legal professions and engineering decreased sharply, which could probably be attributed to the constant migration of white professionals to other countries,” according to Kruger. In addition, white young people are discouraged from pursuing careers in the medical sector, as the selection criteria often promote racial transformation. The criteria that are set for white students are more stringent than those for black students,” Kruger said.
The number of Africans who are registered with SAICA increased by 477.4%, from 301 in 2002 to 1 738 in 2010. The number of Coloured South Africans and Indians increased by 267.3%, from 208 to 764, and 173.9%, from 986 to 2 701, respectively in the same period.
Furthermore, the number of black trainee accountants increased by 68.8% between 2002 and 2007. Africans in this profession increased by 90.3%, from 1 248 in 2002 to 2 375 in 2007. The number of Coloured South Africans and Indians increased by 327.5% and 19.4% respectively. By contrast, the number of white trainee accountants decreased by 9.1%, from 6 310 to 5 733, over the same period.
The number of white attorneys admitted decreased by 36.8% between 1999 and 2008, while the number of Africans, Coloured South Africans and Indians increased by 37.1%, 179.4% and 185.7% respectively.
Graduates in the information technology industry increased by 727.4% between 1996 and 2005. Black graduates (Africans, Coloured South Africans and Indians) increased by 507.6%, while white graduates in this industry increased by only 34.4%.
The number of medical practitioners (doctors and specialists) increased in all racial groups between 2007 and 2010. The biggest increase occurred among Coloured South Africans, who increased by 51.1%, from 481 in 2007 to 727 in 2010. The number of Africans in this industry increased by 38,8%, from 5 143 in 2007 to 7 140 in 2010, and the number of Indians and whites increased by 17.5% and 7.8% respectively.