Durban – South Africa’s newest political party, the ZACP, rejects all forms of race-based affirmative action.
Kanthan Pillay, founder of the ZACP – the Capitalist Party of South Africa – whose logo is a purple cow, said if you want to have economic empowerment the basis of that should be poverty and not race.
“Address the question of poverty, don’t address the question of race. The race-based economic employment policy caused division in the country and does not provide a level playing field.
“We clearly reject black economic empowerment because quotas in the workplace are an absolute disaster. Quotas in the workplace must be scrapped in their entirety because they prejudice the best people for the job,” said Pillay.
He also disapproved of the quotas for university entrance based on race.
“We have a situation where we have incredibly smart white and Indian children with 8 A’s denied admission to the careers of their choice, while black children are getting into those courses with 70%. What it is doing is lowering the standards of our country. We are not ending up with the best possible person in a particular job,” he said.
Pillay said when the ZACP gets into parliament, it would advocate for private medical schools to be attached to large private hospitals.
He said all race-based discrimination was exactly what happened in the apartheid era.
“We want an end to it all. The Indian community always wanted an equality of opportunities. Level the playing field and we will compete with everyone else and beat them fair and square. Indians never asked for a special favour. Indian businesses were successful because they were good at what they did and not because they got help from the government,” said Pillay.
Zwakele Mncwango said the DA also rejected racial quotas.
“The DA recognises the importance of promoting diversity in South Africa, not representivity.
“Racial quotas are problematic because they are open to abuse in the form of cadre deployment, appointments made without necessary skills, and political connections trumping fit-for-purpose criteria.”
Mncwango said the implementation of black empowerment had the perverse effect of empowering a small elite group of black South Africans with political connections.
“The DA supports black empowerment as an essential and necessary redress mechanism. However, it must then be directed to broadening opportunity for all.
“The current scorecard must be simplified to ensure easier compliance, meaning more businesses can play a role in diversifying the economy, and focus on economic growth.”
The ANC’s head of economic transformation, Enoch Godongwana, said the party supported affirmative action and had created a legal framework for its implementation in the form of the Employment Equity Act.
“Affirmative action addresses inequality in the workplace. It has been very effective in that respect. A number of sectors, including the financial sector, are transforming fast.
“There is broader inequality that is a product of many factors including high unemployment,” said Godongwana.
IFP spokesperson Mkhuleko Hlengwa said affirmative action was a necessity in South Africa.
“The question is how we achieve it. Affirmative action is a necessary instrument to right the wrongs of the past, which in the main were designed for economic exclusion along racial lines.
“We view affirmative action as a tool to level the playing field and it is therefore a duty and responsibility of government not to compromise the economic trajectory of the country but at the same time not to further leave behind those who had to bare the brutal brunt of apartheid.”
Hlengwa said the main issue was that during apartheid the education available to blacks was inferior and limited the scope of opportunities available to them.
“If you want to address the frontiers of inequality you need to equip people. We certainly do not want a situation of placing people in positions for the sake of it. Affirmative action is a far broader process than the placement of people in positions.
“You cannot have affirmative action in a vacuum.
“Affirmative action needs to take place within the broader context of a functioning South Africa where education, healthcare and infrastructure are readily available for every South African so they may be able to access jobs,” he said.