Durban – THE Minority Front (MF) says it will head to the United Nations to have affirmative action for Africans scrapped because it should not apply to majority groups but to minorities. The party launched its election manifesto and called “Let’s Move Forward Together” in the largely Indian community of Chatsworth, south of Durban.
The manifesto also called for an increase in grants, housing and jobs while advocating a decrease in tariffs and crime.
The MF is to contest this year’s general elections on the provincial and national ballots with the aim of making a return to Parliament after a five-year hiatus.
Delivering her party’s manifesto, the leader, Shameen Thakur-Rajbansi, said that since the dawn of democracy Africans had been given more than equal opportunities and they had been more equal than Indians.
“We didn’t worry for a long time, but we can’t carry on accepting that situation. When you look at BBBEE (broad-based black economic empowerment) a lot of the corruption comes from it. There’s no difference between our government and the private sector,” she said.
Thakur-Rajbansi said that since the government was hell-bent on keeping affirmative action, the MF wanted affirmative action to stay too but for minority Indians, whites and coloureds as applied in other democratic countries.
“There was a White Paper on affirmative action in 2000, there was a review and it never happened. There was a sunset clause in 2014; it came, it went and it never happened. I spoke about it on every podium and they did nothing about it.
“Affirmative action is only for groups that are discriminated against. It is not for majority groups; it’s mainly for minority groups. Today, as it stands, affirmative action will not stand a legal test. It will not even stand a constitutional test.
“When I’m in parliament after May 8 we are going to the United Nations if they’re not going to scrap it. We have to do it, because it’s just not fair,” Thakur-Rajbansi said.
She said that affirmative action had been misused to bloat the public sector with 80 percent of budgets going to salaries while a meagre 20 percent went to service delivery.
Thakur-Rajbansi also called for a stop to the land grabs from Whites and Indians because people had paid their rates and utility bills meaning that there should be no lawlessness.
“If the government has good intentions then it should ensure that all vacant government owned property categorised for housing is cut up and first given to homeless South Africans and to every family where there is overcrowding and the informal settlements,” she said.
She also lamented the extent of corruption in the government saying that every State Owned Enterprise, government department and even parliament had been riddled with corruption.
“Our country is standing only on one leg or pillar of democracy, the judiciary, with mostly retired judges running our country by commissions.
“We owe it to our citizens to turn this around. Every political party in the National Assembly is weak and has allowed this. This is the first time the MF was not in Cape Town. We will be there after May 8 to change and shape debates, legislations and regulations so that we get back on track,” Thakur-Rajbansi said.