Rights group hits back at forum’s call to sideline KZN Indians

2013-02-07 00:00

A MINORITY rights group yesterday came out with guns blazing at a new radical forum that wants Indians to be excluded from affirmative action and black economic empowerment programmes.

SA Minority Rights Equality Movement (Samrem) convenor Ashin Singh said the group had noted with concern the untruths and misleading statements made by a “group of racists”.

Singh was responding to an article in Monday’s Witness about Mazibuye African Forum’s mobilisation for radical transformation to fight the stranglehold Indians had on the provincial economy.

The forum held its meeting in Durban on Saturday and it was attended by people from different political parties.

Political organisations have distanced themselves from the forum, saying their members had attended the meeting without their sanction.

Singh said it was absolutely

astounding to suggest that

Indians had a stranglehold on the economy.

“Most businesses or industries are white-owned and account for the great portion of the economy in KwaZulu-Natal, if not the whole of South Africa. This is followed by black African business in KwaZulu-Natal and South Africa,” Singh said.

“The truth is that Indian business people are discriminated against as they receive a lower BEE scorecard,” Singh said.

Indians were also excluded from affirmative action policies through the employment equity regulations.

“Various legislative enactments to stop Indian businesses from operating and owning property failed to stop Indian entrepreneurship. Detractors should learn from this,” he said.

Mazibuye’s founder, Zweli Sangweni, said the forum stood by its demand that Indians be excluded from BEE, affirmative action and other equity policies.

“We have no doubt that the economy of this province is controlled by Indians,” Sangweni said.

He denied the forum was being racist, saying it wanted Africans to be included in the mainstream economy and to play a meaningful role, especially in KwaZulu-Natal.

Sangweni said the forum wanted legislation to be formulated setting out clear percentage targets on the number of Africans to benefit from the different sectors of the economy within a specified time.

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