For the majority of South Africa, the attitude is one of expectation and entitlement. The African National Congress (ANC) government jargon is to defend the actions of Affirmative Action, and it is written in a manner that fashions the majority as the oppressed, and the minority the advantaged.
Taxes, resources, and farming skills, of the nine percent white and Indian minority, have for decades fed, educated, protected, and healed the majority of South Africa. Now the ANC government who voice the oppression of Apartheid upon the majority, want more and are forcing the minority to solitude.
Broad Based Black Economic Empowerment (BBBEE) laws have once again been amended to empower the majority, the previously disadvantaged people with more entitlement. The BBBEE law is a deliberate confusion to strip the minority of assets and will have a devastating impact on the majority who are not equipped or skilled to grow an economy. The BBBEE is the national transformation program of South Africa aimed at redressing imbalances of the past. The BBBEE is a program of transferring ownership, to managing the financial and economic resources to the majority. According to the ANC, it is a law that will give unskilled people an opportunity to prosper.
As more expectations are forced upon the minority group, and skilled, professional people are unemployed, there is a rise in the number of people leaving South Africa. Unskilled and inappropriate people are placed into positions of expertise, and there is the rise in companies forced to close doors, contributing to higher unemployment. When a struggle begins to implement, the BBBEE and expectations are not met, there is a rise in promoting devious, corrupt means.
South Africa is the only country in the world where Affirmative action works for the majority. The Employment Equity law introduced in 1998 explicitly outlawed all forms of unfair discrimination in the workplace. Unfair discrimination would include all South Africans. The government stipulated that no economy could grow by excluding any part of its people. The BBBEE is an inclusive only program for blacks, and the elaboration of the exclusion in the past given to the majority, does not entitle the minority as an inclusion.
The BBBEE is not a path to social justice, but the steamroller of it for the sake of empowerment. The whole and absolute dominance of this entire legislation is black, not inclusiveness. The legislation is not about removing barriers, but engendering opportunities to create a genuine barrier. It is not about increasing the economy by creating jobs and opportunities for the majority. It is all about taking the existing jobs from the minority and spreading them out to as many as possible. It is all about leaving the economy to flounder in taxation and regulation on the minority, to drive and pay for it all.
There is no address of the sober truth on the forces of greed, apathy, and corruption that will manifest in politics and markets regardless of who is empowered in South Africa. While the government dabbles in partnerships, this is especially a mark of corruption. The BBBEE is perhaps a curse placed upon the government for preaching words of empowerment. Generalization of job creation and economic growth are vague, and no economy can grow when citizens are excluded.
The minority group does have an advantage from within the white ethnic group; there are professional people, engineers, developers and job creators. However, it is not only the hard work of the minority that benefits; it is for all other ethnic groups. The honest, hard work enables growth. It is not discrimination, it is about hiring the best-skilled person to do the work, regardless of racial status. BBBEE is all about racial status, the majority and not about the skill or driven desire to enhance economic growth. Redistribution is a term invented by the ANC government to undermine the importance of skills and job creation. It is a negative result for the minority who has the skills and knowledge to teach, educate, and train the majority to partake in an honest free enterprise.
When companies are forced to dump skilled employees and services in anticipation of gaining a score in order to become BBBEE compliant, there is the possibility of an increase in unemployment. Qualifications and a sound historical working ethic should be the driving factor for any company to employ people. Racial gender should never be the first choice, and when applied, this will give rise to an entitlement mentality. The government and companies do not benefit when forced to employ people based on a discriminative law.
A recent media report claims that in South Africa, the unemployment rate of whites is listed at four percent compared to twenty percent for blacks. Thus, the argument that there are fewer whites unemployed as opposed to blacks highlights the plight of the majority. While official stats are not available, it might be worthwhile considering the effectiveness of this comparison as absurd, comparing a nine percent minority to a ninety percent majority does not have any argument.
The act declares itself as not being discriminatory, yet it is the deliberate exclusion of a minority. It is not a law that is sustainable in any form and can only be devastating and if not immediately, then gradually over time. The ANC government of South Africa babbles on about the discriminatory laws and practices of the apartheid era and disparities created. Repealing the discriminatory laws cannot compensate the problems, when preference is given to the majority.
Photo by – Paul Saad – Creativecommons Flickr License