DA must show its true colours

2012-09-15 09:13

The past two weeks have shown how important employment equity is and how potentially divisive it can be.

It showed why progressive employers and government institutions must not treat workplace diversity as nice-to-have, but a tool to normalise our deeply divided society, starting with their workplace.

As with economic empowerment, employment equity must not just be seen as a way of endearing an organisation to the powers that be so it can enjoy the largesse and patronage of those in power through government tenders and other work.

Government organisations must be in the forefront of preaching the message as to why employment equity is a national imperative.

News that the Western Cape is the worst performing provincial government in terms of racial diversity in the workplace is therefore disappointing.

By virtue of its being the only province not in ANC control, it is sending the wrong message: that employment equity is an ANC programme rather than a national project to reverse discrimination on the grounds of race, sex and disability in the workplace.

The DA-led province is in the privileged position of being able to show what a government other than the ANC can offer South Africans.

The questionthe official opposition must answer is whether this is an aberration they will correct, or whether this is how they would lead all South Africa, were they to govern.

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