Katlego Modipane
Job-Hopping To Riches
07H31 MONDAY, 21 NOVEMBER 2011


Whether it was during a discussion with your mates or a mental debate in your own head, the subject of race and compensation in the workplace has been on your mind at various points in your career. In fact it may even be a recurring thought that you have every time you look at your payslip.  The general perception, and its not far fetched, is that the whiter you are the more money you make. What’s more, there is an unfounded belief that black people are always job-hopping in search of a better paying job. Tito Mboweni went as far to say “I have sought to recruit many competent black people and no sooner had we trained them then they leave. I get so upset... I’m stopping this recruitment of black people. I’m ok with my Afrikaners. They stay and do the work, and become experts”.

What prompted Mboweni to utter these unequivocally irresponsible words? History! Most white people begin their careers having a car, a nice place to stay and generally have had a better education. Above all, their skin colour will warrant a better pay . At least that’s the general perception but again, its not far fetched. Black people on the other hand begin their careers from a much lower base. Not only is the pay ridiculous but transport is an issue, taking care of family is an issue and relationships are an issue. And for the most part, we do without complaining and with great pride. But we do need to move often in order to catch up. I think no one can argue against the fact that a South African legacy, history, resulted in this predicament.

The reality is, and this is where you get shocked, black people usually stay longer than white people in most companies. Black people change jobs for reasons such as a need for skills development, a need for a more challenging work environment and yes you guessed it, a deeply rooted entrepreneurial spirit – we all seem to want to be the masters of our destinies, our own bosses, and to create a legacy that our children can be proud of. The research studies that reveal all this have been around since 2006 yet as recently as September 2011 it was revealed that black South Africans account for less than 20% of CEO or equivalent positions in the country. Despite BEE or BBBEE or whatever else they choose to call it. So then there’s only one thing to do if you’re not satisfied with your income. Supplement it. How? Thats for you to figure out. As long as its legal then we’re rooting for you!

Photographer: Kamogelo Mogashoa    Sources:  HSRC, IOL, The CIA and Marketingweb

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  1. Another is that Generation X and Y are totally different to our parents, their loyalty is questionable - actually they are only loyal to themselves.

  2. I am not particularly sure what has been said in this article.

    I think it needs to be unpacked more — I don't see the link between the title, and the last paragraph; I see the link between the first paragraph and the title; the middle paragraph builds the grounds for an argument, but I don't see the conclusion of that argument.

    By the way — not sucking up — you had me reading past the second paragraph; but left me wanting.

  3. +
    Katlego Modipane

    Thank you for that complement! I'm excited about your feedback. There is a disconnect between the title and the last paragraph, something which has definitely been addressed in the upcoming articles. The idea was really to draw comparisons between the general perceptions and the reality highlighting the fact that in actual fact black people are not job-hopping for money. I was also hoping to plant a seed of inspiration to those who have been thinking a lot about whats said in the first two paragraphs but have not really moved beyond that.

  4. Ah, I understand now.

    So, you will be unpacking it in the coming days/weeks; or this just one part of a greater narrative?

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