South Africa has its own texture of cultural diversity unparalleled by any in the history of the world. The diversity emanates from the period of the Dutch settlers (1640s) occupying land in the country through their by conquest of the non-militant indigenous inhabitants. Soon the British arrived (1800s) and occupied more land. Before long, the two settler groups were fighting for ownership and control of the land. As soon as their conflict was resolved, the Dutch settlers now started a program of separate development by removing the indigenous people from fertile land to Bantustans. The result therefore was an uprising of the people culminating in the democracy gained in 1994, thereby bringing to an end an error of inhuman treatment in which the whites were and are still the beneficiaries. South Africa today has twelve language groups (official 11 because for no known reason the Khoisan have been excluded), and all these people meet in the workplace. The arrival of other Europeans, Africans and Asians as economic refugees has not made the situation better. The South African landscape is now more diverse than ever and this is reflected at the workplaces creating a need for diversity management. This paper focuses specifically on identifying the extent to which the managers are aware and prepared to manage culturally diverse environment. Whilst there is continued assertion by managers that they know enough about the other cultures, there is unprecedented neutrality to pertinent questions and statements dealing with the subject. The finding is that the managers who are largely white and coloured have not taken enough pain to understand and accommodate the majority 80% black who are the indigenous inhabitants.
Key words: Cultural diversity, workplace, the Cape metropolis, managers’ views.
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