DA leader Mmusi Maimane. Picture: MARK WEST/THE HERALD
DA leader Mmusi Maimane. Picture: MARK WEST/THE HERALD

Those in the DA advocating that black economic empowerment (BEE) be reformed or phased out are right. The ANC’s rhetoric about the persistence of racism, to cover its own lack of service delivery, will lead to more voters either seeing through the rhetoric or swallowing it and demanding "radical economic transformation". They either go EFF or DA.

A policy of sensitivity to race (via quotas), as some in the DA are reputedly trying to introduce, is equally wrong because it buys the gambit by the ANC that the debate ought to still be about transformation, not their lack of service delivery. It’s a losing medium-term strategy for the ANC too, as the inevitable winner can only be the EFF.

To avoid a president Julius Malema, the gambit has to be imploded soon, and the opposite stratagem adopted: nonracial equality. In other words, liberalism. The ANC is abandoning that positioning, which it still straddled in the National Development Plan. So now is the right time for the DA to return to its core values, to absorb those ANC moderates.

That said, the DA could also situate the phasing out of BEE as part of a bigger plan that aims to entrench a sense of national unity.

Without that unity our nation won’t have the gumption to turn its ship around. The DA can aim for it by proposing liberalism as a countermeasure to ANC/EFF racial divisiveness. They could then tweak their liberal positioning into a unique selling proposition: "We’re all part of one rainbow nation."

In one stroke, they align their various-seeming policies into a framework that’s timely, fills a desperate need, and would also actually work.

Dino Galetti