A News24 User writes:
When I was a little white girl, I was barred from attending the same school as my siblings. As a precocious twelve year old, with a fascination for history, I was banned from entering a museum because I apparently was capable of "damaging the displays".
Later on I was told that no matter how good my grades were, I would not be permitted to study medicine. Looking for a job was a constant exercise in humiliation and I was told without apology or contrition that companies had a policy of not employing people like me because it would be too complicated/difficult/toilets were inaccessible etc.
Eventually I began to internalize the notion that I was a child of a lesser God, and this all because I had a disability and made use of a wheelchair. I identified with my fellow South Africans who were also prevented from participating in South African society.
At least I was allowed to vote, unlike most other South Africans. When the first democratic elections were held, I cast my vote in support of the ANC.
Naturally I supported Employment Equity. However, the sad truth is, that 99.28% of employable people with disabilities in South Africa are unemployed. Another sad truth is that the gap between rich and poor in this country is one of the highest, if not the highest in the world.
Another sad truth is that workers are highly dispensable in a country where unemployment is ridiculously high, and so worker's bargaining position is tenuous at best. While senior management are earning ridiculously high wages, ordinary workers face long hours, low wages and a lack of job security.
Sundays and family time have been sacrificed in favour of profits.
Children barely see their parents and then we wonder why our youth are in crisis. So I will boycott Woolworths, not because of their EE policies, but because this debacle has effectively and very cleverly taken attention away from Woolworth's ultimatum to employers to sign flexible contracts or face dismissal.
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