Should you - or any direct descendant - qualify as a candidate under SA’s empowerment policies?

29 June 2021 - Earlier this month the Racism is NOT The Problem movement was established by the IRR to confront racial hypocrisy in South Africa, expose South Africa’s race hustler industry, and slay the myth that racism is the greatest problem facing the country.

Earlier this month the Racism is NOT The Problem movement was established by the IRR to confront racial hypocrisy in South Africa, expose South Africa’s race hustler industry, and slay the myth that racism is the greatest problem facing the country.
 
One of the most blatant areas of racial hypocrisy and hustling is how South Africa’s elites have come to disproportionately benefit from the empowerment policies originally conceived to benefit the country’s poor.
 
This morning we sent letters to 15 prominent South Africans asking them if they or their descendants feel disadvantaged enough to benefit from those policies.
 
The fifteen were chosen because they all hold prominent and influential positions in South Africa and are looked up to as role models by their peers. Some are in business while others are in politics and the media. There are even a few celebrities on the list. Some are strong supporters of BEE and race-based employment equity, while others are critics. Some benefit financially either directly or indirectly from the policies, while others do not.
 
We have asked each a simple question: Should you or your children qualify as candidates under SA’s empowerment policies? None of the individuals are shy to comment on questions of policy in South Africa so engaging with this issue will be nothing new to them. A simple yes or no answer will suffice, though further motivations are welcome.
 
The policies that South Africa uses to help its disadvantaged are so important to the future of the country that no person can claim to be ambivalent about them, and the views of prominent opinion-formers, policy-makers, and social influencers have great public influence. We will therefore publish the results and make them available for the public to consider.
 
If any of the candidates we have selected refuses to answer, we would regard that as odd, given their proclivity for commenting on similar matters, and may be impelled to interrogate why this specific question makes them uncomfortable.
 
The individuals we have written to are:

  • Actress/entrepreneur Pearl Thusi
  • Musician/entrepreneur Nkosinathi Innocent Maphumulo (Black Coffee)
  • Musician/entrepreneur Refiloe Phoolo (Cassper Nyovest)
  • Leader of the Democratic Alliance John Steenhuisen
  • President Cyril Ramaphosa
  • Leader of the Economic Freedom Fighters Julius Malema
  • Leader of the Freedom Front Plus Pieter Groenewald
  • Speaker of the National Assembly Thandi Modise
  • CEO of Sygnia Investments Magda Wierzycka 
  • CEO of Discovery Adrian Gore
  • CEO of Standard Bank Lungisa Fuzile 
  • CEO of Telkom Sipho Maseko
  • Vice-Chancellor of Wits University Zeblon Vilakazi
  • Vice-Chancellor of the University of Cape Town Mamokgethi Phakeng 
  • Rector and Principal of the University of Stellenbosch Wim de Villiers 

 
Says IRR head of campaigns Gabriel Crouse: “On one view, a person is always ‘disadvantaged’, no matter how rich, powerful, or influential they are, just as long as they have a certain appearance. This view underpins South Africa’s current legal approach. President Ramaphosa called for a review, and reviewing racial fetishisation is a must. Polling suggests that ordinary South Africans think it is absurd or even insulting to call a millionaire ‘disadvantaged’, but do millionaires, taste-makers, and political leaders agree? Wait and see.”
 
If you would like to know more about the new Racism is NOT the problem movement, click this link.

 
Media contacts: Gabriel Crouse, IRR Head of Campaigns – 082 510 0360; gabriel@irr.org.za
Duwayne Esau, IRR Campaign Officer – 081 700 0302; duwayne@irr.org.za
Media enquiries: Michael Morris Tel: 066 302 1968 Email: michael@irr.org.za
Kelebogile Leepile Tel: 079 051 0073 Email: kelebogile@irr.org.za

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