Institute backs 'courageous' Zille - Letter to the Cape Times, 18th May 2009

The Institute submitted the letter below to the Cape Times in support of what it described as Helen Zille's 'courageous stance on quotas in her Western Cape cabinet'.

Sir,

Helen Zille’s courageous stance on quotas in her Western Cape cabinet deserves support. The second class status that is the daily experience of many black women in South Africa is not in doubt. But this slight on our country will never be addressed through wealthy and well connected women appointing each other to top positions so as to wallow in each others ‘success’. This is no different to an affirmative action policy that revolves around well educated and well heeled black businessmen doing business with each other and calling that justice while the large majority of black South Africans are left to wallow in relative poverty. In saying that she will pick the best possible team to lead her government in the Western Cape, Helen Zille has done more to advance the cause of gender equality in South Africa than all the combined gender commissions and NGOs have done over a decade. If her team is able to ensure that schools in the Western Cape provide a higher standard of education than the rest of South Africa, that its policemen treat rape and domestic violence survivors with respect and empathy, and its hospitals treat pregnant women and sick children with care then she will have put her province well ahead of its eight rivals. The whole mass of civil society and quasi-governmental organizations, who have implied a moral equivalency between her initial statements on Jacob Zuma’s wives and the ANC Youth League’s and MK veterans’ despicable comments about her ‘whoring’ in Cape Town, will owe her an apology.

Frans Cronje

Deputy CEO

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