“Yes!” to Covid-19 tests, “No!” to pencil tests!

“No!” to race-based and racist government emergency assistance

It is unacceptable that President Ramaphosa could, on 15 March, call for national unity, urging South Africans to ‘act together’ to overcome the threat of the Covid-19 pandemic, only for the Minister of Tourism, Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubaneto, to insist on 7 April that race will be used as a basis to determine which South Africans receive government support. The Minister’s intention to only help some people and not others because of the colour of their skin makes a mockery of our constitutional democracy and makes a liar of President Ramaphosa.

Sign the IRR’s petition to say “No!” to pencil testing, and “Yes!” to Covid-19 testing.

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“Only a skewed consideration of the economic realities can lead to the conclusion that race-based policies have seen vital and sustainable improvement in the lives of South Africans,” says IRR Deputy Head of Policy Research, Hermann Pretorius.

“The IRR continues to vehemently oppose the notion of race-based policies. We couldn’t afford the impotent ideological virtue signalling of race-based policies before this current crisis, and we most certainly cannot afford it now.

“Discrimination on the basis of race is immoral and inexcusable. It has no place in any constitutional democracy. The fact that the national government now intends to use race as a criterion for desperately-needed assistance in a time of crisis is shameful,” says Pretorius, “While South Africans desperately need their government to help them, while the Minister of Health is rightly rolling out vital Covid-19 testing, the Minister of Tourism is rolling out pencil testing.”

The IRR will pursue appropriate legal avenues to ensure this injustice is righted. In this regard, the IRR will work with any South African concerned by the national government’s flagrant and destructive racism that will put #LivesAndLivelihoods at risk. South Africa can do so much better than BEE.

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