Oudtshoorn activist asks president to scrap race classification on forms and govt job applications

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Race classification in South Africa
Race classification in South Africa
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  • An activist has written a letter to President Cyril Ramaphosa to ask him to scrap race classification in South Africa.
  • Snyman says race classification in South Africa shouldn't matter.
  • He says South Africans should automatically be classified as African.

The leader of People Against Race Classification (PARC) has urged President Cyril Ramaphosa to scrap all race classification criteria in South Africa, especially on government forms and application forms for state jobs.

Glen Snyman led protest action in Oudtshoorn in the Little Karoo over the weekend to highlight his concerns about race classification and to garner support for his campaign.

Snyman, a local teacher, said activists discuss racism issues in the country, among other issues.

He said he wrote to the president because the government was responsible for making laws in the country.

He told News24 that it was vital for him to convey the message to the public that race classification should end in South Africa.

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According to Snyman, it shouldn't matter whether you are white, coloured, black, or Indian because, if you are living in South Africa, you should be classified as African.

"It should not just be about the colour of your skin," Snyman said.

In his letter to the president, he demanded that all race classification criteria be removed from all government forms, as well as the Z83 form which people are required to complete when applying for government jobs.

He also urged Labour Minister Thulas Nxesi to remove the Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) Act immediately.

Last year, the Western Cape Education Department (WCED) accused Snyman of fraud when he identified himself as African in a job application. The charges were later withdrawn.

Snyman said all citizens should be treated equally and fairly.

READ | Race relations in South Africa not as toxic as we think - Ramaphosa inspired by #ImStaying

WCED spokesperson Bronagh Hammond said: "The affirmative action measures are still applicable as per the employment equity plan of the department, which is aligned to the Employment Equity Act and regulations." 

The changes made to the e-recruitment online CV are in compliance with this notice.

She added that, should an applicant choose "other", they would be excluding themselves from preferential treatment in terms of affirmative action measures.

Spokesperson for the Department of Public Service and Administration, Kamogelo Mogotsi, said the use of "other" was linked to the legislative prescripts used for those who can be employed in the public service.

"The reasoning behind 'other' is that the South African public service does appoint foreign nationals in line with the above regulation. Based on the above prescript's provisions, the foreign nationals from different racial groups may apply and be considered for the appointment in the public service, subject to compliance with the prescribed employment conditions," Mogotsi added.

"The public service must consider all prescripts and the diversity of potential applicants."

Snyman said that he would continue to tick the 'African' box when applying for government jobs.

He said he hoped the president would read his letter and take into account that specifying race in job applications did not matter unless people were foreigners.

"We are not coloured, black, Indian or white people, we are South Africans," he said.


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