Equity act discriminatory, says Maimane

2013-11-11 00:00

THE Employment Equity Act Amendment Bill rested on Verwoerdian principles that are based on race — and that is wrong, Mmusi Maimane said yesterday.

Maimane, the DA’s premier candidate for Gauteng, visited voter registration points in Soweto, Orange Grove and Alexandra yesterday.

He said he totally supported Helen Zille’s position on what she had likened to the party’s “plane crash” on the bill.

The main opposition party has been in turmoil since the DA last month, in Zille’s words, “dropped the ball” by voting for the racist bill in Parliament.

Maimane, who is married to a white woman, used their coloured children to explain why the DA deems the amendments to the equity act to be wrong.

“The fault with the bill is that my children would be classified according to race and I do not think this is right. It also gives too much power to the minister. I do, however, agree that we have to act to reduce poverty.”

He said the bill had to list ways to benefit indigent people. “But it cannot benefit even more black people who are already benefitting. This will lead to a continuous circle of jobs for pals.”

Maimane praised Zille for her leadership.

“I will be the first to admit we took a wrong decision to vote for the bill. But this is politics, sometimes you take decisions that you have to explain later. Helen has done so and she said she takes full responsibility for the events.”

Maimane said the DA was not split on leadership and he was not concerned that the temporary issue of a wrong vote would have DA members reconsidering their support.

“I believe the voters know that politics is a constant debate and that not everyone can agree all the time.”

DA moves members on Committee

CAPE TOWN — After the DA’s “plane crash that should have been avoided” on the Employment Equity Amendment Bill, two DA members on the trade and industry portfolio committee have been moved.

Lindiwe Mazibuko announced on Saturday that Sej Motau and his deputy Andricus van der Westhuizen have now been moved to the portfolio for economic development. Kenneth Mubu replaces Motau and Hanniff Hoosen replaces Van der Westhuizen.

The step came after Helen Zille said the party had made a mistake by voting in the National Assembly for the Employment Equity Amendment Bill.

She made reference to Malcolm Gladwell’s analysis of plane crashes in his book Outliers, which shows how “the accumulated significance of independently irrelevant, small mistakes, that combine to create disaster”. She said a series of mistakes had led to the caucus being wrongly informed on the bill.

“Our representatives on the portfolio committee were inadequately prepared. The many and varied submissions on the bill were rushed through the portfolio committee in four meetings. The long parliamentary recess intervened before the bill went to the National Assembly and so we were unable to debate the implications of the bill adequately in caucus. When it did come before caucus, on the day it was due to be debated and voted on in the house, the explanatory memorandum produced by our spokespeople was defective. To make matters worse, we had five minutes to consider seven different bills,” said Zille.

The DA has now withdrawn its support and will oppose the bill in the National Council of Provinces.

— Media24.

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