Whites are victims of themselves - deputy minister

2015-11-05 14:41
(File, iStock)

(File, iStock)

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Johannesburg - White South Africans were the victims of the very system they were fighting to preserve, co-operative governance and traditional affairs deputy minister Andries Nel said on Thursday.

"For in becoming racialists and exploiters, they become closed off to important areas of human experience," he said at a round table on whiteness, Afrikaans and Afrikaners in Johannesburg.

"The essential thing white South Africans lose is openness to the future and to other people."

Nel was speaking under the theme Where are the Suzmans, Slovos, Fischers and Naudes of today?

Read more here: - Whites forget how unjust apartheid was - survey

He said not only must racism be attacked but also the unquestioned acceptance of material values underlying racism.

"We must show to all those who accept dominant values how much they lose in this society and how much they could gain in a good society."

Nel said the country needed to overcome the high levels of mistrust between major social partners.

Partnerships across society

The National Development Plan (NDP) envisioned a country where everyone felt free yet bound to others; where everyone embraced their full potential and a country where opportunity was determined by ability, education and hard work.

Leaders in government, business, labour and civil society needed to work hard to implement this.

"We need partnerships across society working together towards a common purpose. Government had to shoulder a large share of the responsibility," he said.

This meant being prepared to take difficult decisions and trade-offs and persuading society of the correctness of these decisions. This required communicating "honestly and sincerely" and demanded the moral authority and legitimacy to do so.

- Read more here:- 47% of white South Africans believe apartheid wasn't a crime against humanity

The country faced the challenge of poverty, inequality and unemployment and the racial form they took, Nel said.

In South Africa the major cause of conflict was the unequal distribution of wealth, coinciding with race and, more roughly, with cultural differences.

However, if the wealth gap was removed, there would no longer be an inherent reason for conflict.

Cultural or racial groups could and did co-exist when they were not divided by different economic interests.

Read more on:    andries nel  |  johannesburg

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