Exploring the perceptions of black tax among young employed black South Africans
Msibi, Andile Nthuseng
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Black South Africans make up the majority of the population and theoretically they should be the biggest contributors to the economy. The democratically elected government of South Africa introduced the Employment Equity Act (55 of 1998) to increase the representation of previously disadvantaged people in all categories and levels in organisations. Black South Africans form part of the previously disadvantaged. However, the education that was afforded black people during apartheid in South Africa was not adequate. Consequently, when new laws were introduced and opportunities became pronounced for black South Africans to occupy positions that had not been available to them in the past, they did not have the requisite skills. This created a shortage of black talent. Most organisations were ‘fighting’ over the limited pool of black talent. Talent management was viewed as one of the tools that organisations can use to attract and retain black talent. The objective of this study was to explore the perceptions of black tax among participants. Further, the study sought to understand how black tax played a role in the career choices of participants. A qualitative research approach was adopted for the study. Data was collected using face-to-face interviews with 15 participants based in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal. Data was analysed using thematic analysis. Eight themes emerged from the data and were categorised according to the research objectives. The themes that emerged from the data that were aligned to the first research objective were a) the origins of black tax; b) the complex nature of black tax; c) drivers for paying black tax; d) types of black tax; e) consequences of black tax; and f) family dynamics. Themes that emerged and were aligned to the second objective of the study were a) the interplay between black tax and career; and b) the management of black tax. The major finding of the study was that black tax and career choices of participants did have an effect on each other. Based on the findings of the study, recommendations were made to the individual, families and the organisation.
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