Minister’s BEE plan makes liar of President Ramaphosa - IRR

12 April 2020 - The Institute of Race Relations (IRR) rejects without qualification Minister of Tourism Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane’s stated intention to discriminate on the basis of race in providing assistance to businesses suffering under the impact of the Covid-19 crisis.

Press Release 

The Institute of Race Relations (IRR) rejects without qualification Minister of Tourism Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane’s stated intention to discriminate on the basis of race in providing assistance to businesses suffering under the impact of the Covid-19 crisis.
 
It is unacceptable that President Cyril Ramaphosa could call for national unity on 15 March, urging South Africans to ‘act together’ to overcome the threat of the Covid-19 pandemic, only for the Minister Kubayi-Ngubane to insist on 7 April that race will be used as the basis of determining which South Africans receive government support.
 
Only on Thursday, the president thanked South Africans ‘for reaffirming to each other and to the world that we … are a people who come together and unite at moments of great crisis’.
 
Yet the minister’s intention to help only 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.
 
Says IRR Deputy Head of Policy Research Hermann Pretorius: “Only a skewed consideration of economic realities can lead to the conclusion that race-based policies have secured a meaningful and sustainable improvement in the lives of South Africans.
 
“The IRR vigorously opposes the notion of race-based policies. South Africa couldn’t afford ineffective and investment-deterring race-based policies before this crisis, and we most certainly cannot afford them 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 critical 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. South Africans are invited to sign our petition on this important matter here.
 
The IRR will work with any South African concerned by the national government’s flagrant and destructive racism that will only put #LivesAndLivelihoods at risk.

 
Media contacts: Hermann Pretorius, IRR Deputy Head of Policy Research – 079 875 4290; hermann@irr.org.za and Gabriel Crouse, IRR Analyst – 082 510 0360; gabriel.crouse@gmail.com
 
Media enquiries: Michael Morris Tel: 066 302 1968 Email: michael@irr.org.za; Kelebogile Leepile Tel: 011 482 7221 ext: 2018 Email: kelebogile@irr.org.za

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