Higher Education and Training Minister Blade Nzimande. Picture: MARTIN RHODES
Higher Education and Training Minister Blade Nzimande. Picture: MARTIN RHODES

Business Day reported on the new commission Higher Education and Training Minister Blade Nzimande is setting up to transform our universities (Nzimande picks team to drive change at varsities, July 11). The commission is enjoined to radically transform the demographics of the professoriate (we all know what that means) and in the next breath to ensure that discrimination (presumably racial) is eliminated on campuses! Does he not recognise a contradiction when he sees one?

With hindsight, the post-1994 dispensation set two irreconcilable goals: to right the wrongs of apartheid and see that those who suffered under it and their descendants had access to restitution employment and all the privileges they were formerly denied; and to eradicate racial discrimination and ensure complete equality in a nonracial society. It was impossible to do the two simultaneously and the first has naturally taken precedence over the second.

Whites are now second-class citizens and are actively disadvantaged in the workplace, where government pressurises employers not to hire them, and elsewhere. They are also an easy target for political organisations exploiting the anger of the majority of South Africans, who are no better off than they were 23 years ago.

It is terribly sad that South Africans should still be defined in racial terms as crude as those used in apartheid SA. The tables have been well and truly turned and perhaps this was inevitable. Yet another exodus is under way by people who see no security for themselves and no hope for their children here. But who cares?

S PienaarCape Town

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