LETTER: New equity bill keeps apartheid alive

14 September 2021

The new Employment Equity Bill is more than a weapon of economic mass destruction, it entrenches apartheid in the workforce (“New employment equity bill is a weapon of economic mass destruction”, September 9).

If employers are obliged to enforce race quotas the result, by definition, would be that open competition for jobs would disappear. Whites would compete only against whites, coloureds only within “their” group, and the same for blacks. There would be no reason for a black candidate to ever compete against a white, coloured or Indian candidate.

More than 70% (if we assume this to be the black proportion of the economically active population) of jobs at all levels would be reserved for black candidates. In the same way, whites and other ethnic minorities would only compete against their own kind, locked into their own quotas.

Does this not remind one of the racial policy of the Verwoerd government, a policy that was strenuously defended by the white government of the day as constituting beneficial “separate development”? This policy was strenuously attacked by the erstwhile ANC, which denigrated it as racist discrimination. Of course, these are not the same forms of discrimination. Pre-1990 racial policy envisaged geographically separate areas, while the present amendments to the Employment Equity Bill posit racial separation within companies.

Nevertheless, they are two sides of the same coin. The modern form espoused by the ANC would create internal “separate development”, that is, silos within companies. Each race group would work within its quota fiefdom. Any performance comparison between individuals of different races would be superfluous. Black people would only compete with, and be compared to, other black people. The same would obtain for the minority groups.

There is a word for this: apartheid.

Willem Cronje
Cape Town

Source: Business Live at https://www.businesslive.co.za/bd/opinion/letters/2021-09-14-letter-new-equity-bill-keeps-apartheid-alive/