LETTER: Mboweni misses the mark
Assertion that most white South Africans are not nonracial is unlikely to be true
Former finance minister Tito Mboweni posed the following question on Twitter on Saturday: “Why are the majority of white South Africans not nonracial? Join the ANC!!”
The assertion that most white South Africans are not nonracial is unlikely to be true. Last year we put the following question to a representative sample of South Africans: “The different races need each other for progress and there should be full opportunity for people of all colours. Do you agree or disagree?” Of white respondents, 89% agreed with the statement (across all race groups 76.3% agreed; the poll had a 5% margin of error).
Mboweni should also check his second, implied assumption: that the ANC is nonracial. As my senior colleague, Martin van Staden, shows in his Race Law project (www.racelaw.co.za), the ANC government has passed 116 race-based acts of parliament since 1994, and there are 132 pieces of such legislation in operation today. (Some pre-1994 laws with a racial bent are still on the statute books.) Hardly a ringing endorsement of nonracialism.
Public services are collapsing across the board because value-for-money procurement is not the top priority in government circles. The ANC’s racial focus makes it easy for non-value-adding intermediaries to interpose themselves in value chains.
Similarly, racial bean-counting means public sector organisations do not have to appoint the best person for the job, and indeed often do not. It is the poor who suffer the gravest consequences as they are most dependent on the state.
CEO, Institute of Race Relations
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