DIS-CHEM’s Dilemma Highlights Farce Of Non-racialism

Dis-Chem’s dilemma over demographic employment ratios because of the dictates of the Employment Equity Act highlights the absolute farce of adherence to the principle of non-racialism (The Mercury, October 18).

Before 1994, the National Party government had begun to ease up on racial job reservation. Yet despite all the denunciation of apartheid by its opponents, racial discrimination thrives in the Employment Equity Act.

As long as that Act is in the statute book, it is going to present employers with a dilemma while causing frustration, despair and malice amongst those it marginalises. For millions born since 1994 who had nothing to do with apartheid, legalised discrimination between population groups should not be happening.

The Employment Equity Act impugns the spirit of the Preamble of the constitution which enshrines the principles of social justice and equal protection under the law. Moreover, such discrimination, which imposes penalties for non-adherence, is no way to “heal the divisions of the past,” as the Preamble exhorts.

Instead, such discrimination is simply sustaining the divisions of the past because it promotes a culture of entitlement which perpetuates victimhood.

In terms of improving the quality of life, as the Preamble motivates, equity has no place in a hierarchy of competence. Indeed, initiative and enterprise are stifled when shackled to an ideology that prescribes equity as an outcome.

Sadly, however, until the Employment Equity Act is repealed and until the principle of merit is enshrined, professions of non-racialism will be devoid of credibility while mediocrity will frustrate development and progress.

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