PLEASE NOTE:

MyNews24 is a user-generated section of News24.com. The stories here come from users.

 
MrWhite
 
Comments: 10
Article views: 285
 
 
Latest Badges:

 
View all MrWhite's badges.
 

Advantaging those who aren't disadvantaged

06 June 2014, 11:29

Dear fellow South Africans

In the past few years, the issue of social inequality has been thrown around haphazardly. It, and its various connotations, has been brandished around by academics and politicians alike, claiming that it is the root cause of all evils in South Africa. Its associated phrases, such as “redressing Apartheid” or “encouraging diversity”, have become commonplace in the lexicon of those who wish to fight for and against the many racially-based policies in place in South Africa today.

There are certainly facts that, without any shadow of a doubt, highlight the huge inequality in corporate South Africa and South Africa in general. Whether you look at it from the perspective that despite making up roughly 12% of the population, white people occupy 73% of top management positions, or that South Africa has the highest Gini Coefficient in the world for countries with populations above 5 million.

As a white male in my final year of study at the University of Cape Town, it disturbs me that I may not get into the corporate graduate program of my choice because of the colour of my skin and the gender that has been assigned to me. I have been explicitly told that positions on a particular company’s graduate program are assigned to ensure that “diversity” is upheld, since a key aspect of this particular company’s mission statement is “transformation”. Is the real reason not so that they can put a shiny laminated BEE certificate on their wall?

Whilst technically I can’t be considered a born free, I nevertheless was born when South Africa was on the brink of banishing Apartheid. I most certainly was not old enough to ever observe an outright enactment of any Apartheid laws; and from my very first day of school when I was five years old, I was in a class with black students.

Have I at some point in my life benefitted from Apartheid? Maybe.

Am I still benefitting from Apartheid? I don’t think so.

Are the black, Indian and coloured students who sit beside me in my classes currently disadvantaged because of Apartheid?

This is the million dollar question, and I think the answer is a resounding “no”. These students have had the exact same level of education as I have over the past four years. When we graduate, we will all have graduated from the top university in South Africa, in fact the top university on the continent. We will have had access to the same resources and had the same opportunities to pursue our other interests. Yet these students could possibly be favoured for a position despite our academic accomplishments being similar.

What disturbs me most is that I am finding myself being caught in the crossfire. The people who are being advantaged are not the ones who are currently disadvantaged. I don’t see why my career opportunities should be squandered because of my race and gender, while the career opportunities of my classmates who happen to not be my race or gender are being promoted. Similarly, how demoralising would it be to someone who was awarded such an opportunity, not because of their talents, but because of their pigment?

I hope we can work to address this problem at a grassroots level, so that in the future talent is naturally spread evenly around all races and genders. Only then will true redress have been achieved.

Thank you for listening.

Kind regards,

MrWhite

Disclaimer: All articles and letters published on MyNews24 have been independently written by members of News24's community. The views of users published on News24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24. News24 editors also reserve the right to edit or delete any and all comments received.

 

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
10 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Submitted by
Michael Mondli Hlophe
I worry about coalition governmen...

We can only speculate about the future results of coalition governments in South Africa. We can however agree that with coalitions, come challenges. Read more...

0 comments 233 views
Submitted by
Deon van Wyk
Questions about level 5 water res...

The monthly water reading varies monthly for a period between 27 to 35 days and after the holidays even 40 days. In these cases the monthly water usage will be more than 20kl per month. Will you be fined?  Read more...

0 comments 370 views
Submitted by
Amir Abdulazeez
Messi vs Ronaldo: a philosophical...

Cristiano Ronaldo will most likely settle as the 3rd all-time greatest player. In Messi’s case, he may rank worse than 3rd in many critical categories. Read more...

0 comments 233 views
Submitted by
Adorn Keketso
Africans must unite to find water...

African (and South African) leaders must realise that we are trapped in a vicious circle of foreign aids and that our deepening food and water crisis is the opportunity for the western power to take advantage of our sovereignty.  Read more...

0 comments 413 views
Submitted by
Sibonginkosi Mabika
A political storm is being contri...

Political uncertainty puts the citizens of South Africa in darkness preparing themselves for country’s biggest political storm.  Read more...

0 comments 713 views
Submitted by
Nkosenhle Sibisi
Dlamini-Zuma to be sworn in as AN...

I honestly think that it is time to stop scepticism as South Africans and give our female candidates a chance to lead and save our beautiful country, South Africa. Read more...

0 comments 801 views
 

services

E-mail Alerts The latest headlines in your inbox

RSS feeds News delivered really simply.

Mobile News24 on your mobile or PDA

E-mail Newsletters You choose what you want

News24 on Android Get the latest from News24 on your Android device.

SMS Alerts Get breaking news stories via SMS.

TV Get us in your home, on your television.

 
Interactive Advertising Bureau
 
© 2017 24.com. All rights reserved.
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.