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South African Journal of Science

On-line version ISSN 1996-7489
Print version ISSN 0038-2353

Abstract

GOVINDER, Kesh S.  and  MAKGOBA, Malegapuru W.. An equity index for South Africa. S. Afr. j. sci. [online]. 2013, vol.109, n.5-6, pp.01-02. ISSN 1996-7489.

We have introduced the concept of an EI to determine the equity profile of an organisation. This index is based on the straightforward Euclidean distance formula. It can be used to gauge the change in equity profile of an organisation over a defined period. Here, we used UKZN staff data for 2009 in order to illustrate the concept. We note that the formula must be used with caution when dealing with small numbers of staff. The need for this caveat was apparent when trying to analyse the profile of UKZN's top and senior management. The EI is best used when the data set is large enough that a small change in actual number causes a small change in percentage. We suggest a threshold of an overall population of 100 be adopted. This formula can be used in a number of different categories to determine the appropriate equity profile. For example, it can be used for student data to determine EIs for enrollment as well as graduation rates. Within an organisation, it can be used to monitor demographic transformation at different levels. In higher education, in particular, one can evaluate the composition of Council, the Institutional Forum, Senate, etc. Indeed, the EI can be used as a national ranking system for all companies, organisations and institutions. We are currently working on an analysis of the higher education sector in order to rank institutions based on their EIs as well as their equity weighted research productivity. We envisage that such an analysis will be quite insightful in interrogating the development of the sector. Similar analyses can be undertaken for other sectors. Finally, we note that the EI can be used as one (important) component to gauge the progress of an organisation's transformation. We acknowledge that transformation is a much broader concept with many nuances. Our EI is the first unbiased measure to determine the progress made with regard to organisational demographic transformation.

Keywords : transformation; demographics; equity profile; Euclidean distance formula; University of Kwazulu-Natal.

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