Letter: Helen Zille's fighting a battle she cannot win - Politicsweb, 20th September 2012.

Frans Cronje, the Deputy Chief Executive at the Institute, says that the DA seems to believe that it needs to play the race game to appeal to black voters but that this sells black voters short.

Helen Zille (Zille responds to flawed employment equity report, 18 September) is fighting a battle here that she cannot win. She tries to defend her Government's employment equity track record against hostile findings by the Commission for Employment Equity (CEE).

I suggest that a better response might have been to say that the province does not give a damn what colour its staffers are - it employs them on merit and wants to be judged on delivery alone. Not only would this be in keeping with liberal traditions but it may also in the long term be a wiser political strategy than trying to win the racial bean-counting war. South Africans are getting fed up with lazy, corrupt, and unqualified civil servants hiding behind the fig-leaf of employment equity.

This is the political gap to exploit in South Africa - not the tired old racial gap. Crazy as it sounds in our race obsessed society the party that succeeds the African National Congress might just do so partly on a campaign that dumps all the racial targets and focuses exclusively on quality delivery in education and labour markets.

That is ultimately how to empower people. This political approach is surely also only logical as there are (hopefully) very few people who care whether the police they call in the middle of the night are black or white. A proven track record of delivery should ultimately trump all other considerations and the Democratic Alliance has some advantages here. Unfortunately I think the party believes that if it is not seen to play the race game then black voters will never support it. I think this is selling black voters short.

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