Disabled whites in for raw deal - union

2012-02-07 22:34

Pretoria - South Africa's black economic empowerment process is "racial" and has nothing to do with preventing discrimination, the trade union Solidarity said on Tuesday.

Deputy general secretary Dirk Hermann said that proposed changes to the Broad-based Black Economic Empowerment Act (BBBEE Act) would lead the exclusion of disabled whites from any form of empowerment.

"The exclusion of white people from empowerment is turning South Africa's empowerment process into a purely racial process instead of a bona fide anti-discrimination process."

The anticipated amendment to the BBBEE Act comes after a regulation of the Preferential Procurement Policy Framework Act was adopted in December 2011.

Hermann said: "The state effectively kicked white people with disabilities out of empowerment legislation in December last year."

The deadline for commenting on the proposed amendments to the BBBEE Act was Tuesday (today).

"Solidarity... lobbied for the inclusion of this group in all definitions in legislation regulating empowerment," said Hermann.

He said white people with disabilities were currently included in the definition of the designated group in the Employment Equity Act which regulated affirmative action, but had already been removed from the BBBEE Act's definition of the disabled people group.

The proposed amnedments would result in employers earning no BEE points for employing disabled whites but would get BEE points for employing a well-off black person who was not disabled, Hermann said.

  • Robin - 2012-02-07 23:02

    If you voice colour you are discriminating. BEE in A word!

      Graham - 2012-02-07 23:11

      There isn't a major political party in SA who oppose BEE...It is in the DA manifesto too although they argue it should be broader based.

      Max - 2012-02-08 04:48

      And then people get upset when racist comments are made...Our Government divides the country along racial lines to protect the incompetent against the competent. BEE implies that the black population is not able to compete with the white population and need BEE to be on an equal footing that in turn implies that black people are inferior to white people. The largest portion of the South African population have moved on from this kind of racist views but Government is keeping us stuck in history and is the biggest racist that does not have the will to move on.

      Renny - 2012-02-08 06:35

      Bee is just plain wrong. One can't hide behind ones skin colour to get a job. How are white people supposed to get a job and have a future in South Africa. This law shows a weakness in the black race & is uncompetitive.

      Jack - 2012-02-08 07:37

      Can they not do anything on their own, do they still need mother spoon feeding them into the 22nd century? I would feel embarrassed knowing that i was chosen simply because of my colour and not my skill.

      mariuskowie - 2012-02-08 08:19

      4 million whites, 40 million black. Not even counting the other population groups. 1 White for every 40 Blacks. Now please explain how BBBEE can possibly improve the fate of the average Black man. If the ANC regime placed the money they spent towards BEE in all it's forms towards creating Entrepreneurs, South Africa would have been the African Superpower of dreams. BEE is just one of the many forms of legislated racism in South Africa. The rest of the world took years before they acted against Apartheid. How long will it take for them to see the truth about the superficially good looking but evil to the core BEE.

      Xavier7034 - 2012-02-08 08:36

      @Rebel - the idea is correct, but your Maths is out.....4 million to 40 million is 1:10 i.e 1 white to 10 blacks.

      mariuskowie - 2012-02-08 09:12

      @Xavier7034. I stand corrected regarding my math. I did write my comment while fuming at the current injustice of law enforced racism.

      sjmanthey - 2012-02-08 09:21

      with such an overwhelming majority, they still need drastic legislation to give them a running chance... how useless are they? i agree, i would be embarrassed knowing that the only reason I got the job was because of my skin colour. they are indirectly saying that black people are retarded and need help.

  • Rey - 2012-02-08 00:41

    Look how well racist policies have helped Zimbabwe. When South Africans are starving, you'll know why.

  • bernpm - 2012-02-08 01:21

    Empowerment of a 95% majority over a 5% minority based on the colour of the skin is racism and thus unconstitutional. Can some legal wizz kid take this on?? After all, most disputes between people in or about Government are brought to courts. Might as well close parliament in the process.

      maseratifittipaldi - 2012-02-08 06:55

      The school bully. Apartheid was one guy bullying many. BEE is many guys bullying one guy. Pathetic, really. The government paints all black people with this dishonour in its quest to cling to corruptive power. Nothing about BEE is positive. It is all rotten, like the ANC itself.

  • Owen - 2012-02-08 05:48

    And that is why i dont donate to charity they can starve for all i care.

      The-Azanian - 2012-02-08 06:43

      now thats hardcore insensitivity...

      TJ - 2012-02-08 09:35

      I tend to agree with Owen in a way. I have a special needs child but just because he is white he cannot get into all the programs, etc that special needs black kids get into. I have been told this directly to my face by more then one so called charity organisations. As a single mom on a single salary, I cannot afford to pay for all the things he needs in order to become the person I know he can be. I am also not the only person who has had this experience.

      TaniaSandraSteyn - 2012-06-24 22:43

      Agreed, Azanian. Please ask who amongst the Black community donate towards charitable ventures?

  • The-Azanian - 2012-02-08 05:57

    b-bbee was the worst idea ever. its about color of your skin not your financial background. its creating government dependent black culture that wont survive if government switches to another idea.

      Joseph - 2012-02-08 08:06

      You have clearly had proper education, it is a pitty that most black SA people can only follow corrupt leaders.

  • The-Azanian - 2012-02-08 05:57

    b-bbee was the worst idea ever. its about color of your skin not your financial background. its creating government dependent black culture that wont survive if government switches to another idea.

  • braamc - 2012-02-08 06:33

    A majority must be protected against a minority. Laughable, then they can't even perform, nothing but thieves. Go BEE up your arse

  • Herman - 2012-02-08 06:50

    Why does it constantly seem that the blacks of SA is useless, they must be protected up to the highest level. Do the blacks in SA have no backbone? Why is BEE there? To degrade the whiteman, or to encourage a positive working environment?

      Joseph - 2012-02-08 08:04

      Yes to degrade the white and opres the low income black

  • Emma Mortimer - 2012-02-08 07:20

    It's discouraging that this story incites people to anger only from a race point of view. Whilst it is desperately unfair to further marginalise a portion of the already disadvantaged, it would be more effective to use your voices to advocate for employment rights for ALL people with disabilities.

      TaniaSandraSteyn - 2012-06-24 22:46

      Agreed, Emma. My partner is partially sighted due to an injury while in the Army - no pension, and no prospects of employment in our current dispensation. He has so many skills. It makes me sick to my stomach.

  • Colin - 2012-02-08 07:33

    Do we assume that white disabled people naturally have more financial support than black disabled people, which indeed is a racist and totally incorrect assumption. BBBEE however, is intended to induce employers to give opportunity to those who were previously dealt a poor hand. The fact that it is badly managed is largely due to employers and business people who cannot see that BBBEE can be a good thing. I do agree that ALL people who belong to groups that were previously prejudiced need a bit of a hand to get mainstream, but there can be no doubt that many black business people I deal with now, are very astute and deserving of their positions. I think that the fundamental principle aspects of BBBEE that are valid. Some employers would exploit employees without unions, some white owned businesses would avoid racial fairness wihtout some legislation. The problem is not in the principle of the process but simply how it is managed. I am a white person with a small business and I have just been audited and got BBBEE level 1. This is without paying lip service to BBBEE, or giving my business away to token fronting, but doing the right things in terms of charities, having black workers and managers, helping a small black business get a foothold and buying materials from those who do the same. This gives ME opportunities in business. Right or wrong, it can work for all. But disabled whites....that's wrong

      TaniaSandraSteyn - 2012-06-24 22:47

      Spot on.

  • frans.visserdsb - 2012-02-08 07:38

    I have a serious concern - how is the government going to decide if someone is 'black' - i am a nth-generation South African, and am pretty sure that somewhere in my past someone dallied across the colour barrier. Does that make me 'coloured' enough to be classified black? what if it was a grandparent? or a parent? where do you draw the line? will we be back to inspecting peoples gums and the pencil test in their hair? i thought we had a multi-racial democracy, where it was illegal to discriminate on the basis of race or sex. When asked to classify my race on any documents, I state i am either 'human' or African - i was born in Africa, as was my parents, grandparents, etc.....

      Xavier7034 - 2012-02-08 08:45

      If your wife was born in India, but grew up in Kenya, and is a naturalised South African......what does that make her? Black? Coloured? Indian? Pink, Brown, light brown? They used to check the colour of her do they "check" your race today? - to make SURE you qualify for BBEEE? I thought racial discrimination had gone with the apartheid regime?

      frans.visserdsb - 2012-02-09 08:42

      another point - i received a cv from a black Engineer from Gabon - stating he is a naturalised South african and therefore qualifies for BEE status. I followed up with his current employer, who confirmed this. I thought BEE was supposed to be aimed at previously disadvantaged South Africans? So a black foreigner is worth more than a white local?

  • Gordon20 - 2012-02-08 07:48

    and Virgin Active gets called racist's.....??!!

      Aston - 2012-02-08 09:38

      read the Virgin article again, and this time try to concentrate

  • Joseph - 2012-02-08 08:01

    What can you expect in this country from 40 mil black racists

      Aston - 2012-02-08 09:39

      you look like a grown man, very immature comment to make.

      archangel.zerachiel - 2012-06-24 18:33

      @$$ton: ALL your comments are racist in origin... read them again ...

  • phumlanii - 2012-02-08 08:10

    I wonder if disabled white people are competent and a well off black people are incompetent? Just wondering.

      janet.pretorius1 - 2012-02-08 08:29

      I'm sure white and black disabled people are or can be equally competent. The issue here is that the government appears to want to further discriminate against an already extremely marginalised group - based on race. I'm sure that they will want to make amendments to the EE Act in this regard shortly too. PS I am a white, disabled, educated female - so I speak from experience when I say there is discrimination against disabled people per se in my work place - from the able bodied of all colours wrt career and amenities. One can't even rely on some able bodied people not to use disabled parking places in public areas because they are too lazy or ignorant to walk an extra 20m - so to expect in the workplace in certain industries is obviously asking for a miracle. The lack of awareness re these issues is underwhelming.

      TaniaSandraSteyn - 2012-06-24 22:57

      Janet, I worked for SAA for many years. We went on Courses where the disabled were the lecturers - and they taught us very valuable lessons. That, as many things did, fell away in our new dispensation. I seriously urge you and others in your community to engage major roleplayers again. The voice of the disabled should be heard: many people are ignorant and selfish, as they have always been. The cheaper airlines make it extremely difficult for the elderly or disabled to fly, as it costs a lot extra, which they can't add to the ticket. That is why we still need a state airline not focussed on profits exclusively. As I said to Coleman Andrews many years ago: if our call centres were manned by persons with limited mobility, we would have the best call centre in the World. Simply by scheduling regular travel for our agents, which enables them to judge the level of service and competence on a different level. Wasted breath it was. CEO's are not interested in the good of all - they service their own back pockets and that of their industry.

  • Ryan - 2012-02-08 08:12

    The ANC should get full credit for being disabled! They are all RETARDS!

  • Norman - 2012-02-08 08:43

    How sad is this article? The reality of life is that ANYONE can be disabled at any time it only takes a second. Food for thought for those who make the laws an rules.

  • Norman - 2012-02-08 08:53

    How sad is this article? The reality of life is that ANYONE can become disabled at any time it only takes a second! There should be no "racial" lines between the disabled as it is already tough to get through each day with precetions and judgements made on us by follow humans. With almost 5% of the population been disabled rules and laws like these are clearly wrong.

  • Llewellyn - 2012-02-08 09:05

    I am a person with an aquired disability, and run and Incapacity and Disability organisation. The problem with this is that most people DO NOT KNOW THE DEFINITION's inherent to disability, Government, trade unions or people alike, nor where the problems occured. Any Creed, Race or colour of human with an INHERENT (BORN WITH) disability should be INCLUDED in the act, however, anyone with a work history, education or both with an aquired disability should be excluded. Disability ratings in this country are incorrectly managed and not attached to the performance of the tasks trained for, which again demeans this act entirely. When the world benchmark is a disability (Work) evaluation and not merely how severly your disability impacts on daily living and enhanced daily living, how will we ever as a country form equality? It's really so sad, that in a world where these issues are addressed correctly and with due sensitivity, South Africa remains 2 steps behind with it's own personal agenda's and colour barriers. Llewellyn Marais - 079 516 6464

  • - 2012-02-08 10:16

    What I seriously do not understand is how thet think they can 'fix' the problem of 4.2 million unemployed people by excluding certain people from BEE... After 17 years of so called democracy... our government thinks that they are amking inroads into solving the problems in this country. I work within the resourcing industry, and you would be dumbfounded by the amount of work we do, across all verticals where we cannot find specialized resources regardless of colour.

      Llewellyn - 2012-02-08 11:16

      Rickey, completely agree.. skills and also the build environment are two major limiting factors within our country at the moment. Even though i previously said that Aquired disability should be excluded from BBBEE, we also have to remember that most of the time, those with an Aquired Disability unfortunately can't ACCESS their employment area and the resources are either too expensive or unavailable to obtain. Not to mention, a lot of people, regardless of colour, who are disabled in any way, do have the resources to do the required tasks, however companies are not geared to accept them or to handle the requirements of thier disability. Llewellyn

  • Lorraine - 2012-02-08 12:23

    In SA, 91% of the population demand affirmative action against 9% of the population. This is crazy!

  • Patsy - 2012-02-22 09:43

    Racism is alive and flourishing in our country. Something that the ANC fought but are now taking to greater heights. HYPOCRITES.

  • robert.doyle.712 - 2012-09-25 15:15

    Thats why I left SA many eons ago as I have CP and sawe this coming.Yet here overseas earn huge salary and no discrimination.In fact quiet the opposite.Tax breaks and many more benefits. It rocks to be Cerebral Palsied. Whoooooooooooo Hooooooooooooooo

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