Dear Sihle Zikalala, this new BEE move really bothers me
IOL / 22 OCTOBER 2017, 10:11AM / DENNIS PATHER
Dear Sihle Zikalala
Like you, I am an African, born and bred on this continent. I am also a patriotic South African whose identity is firmly rooted in this land. I come from Indian stock and am proud of the rich social and cultural heritage handed down to me.
I address this letter to you, a senior official of the ANC in KwaZulu-Natal and a person credited with having championed the recent move to restructure BEE laws in this province which will restrict Indian and coloured people from competing openly for state tenders.
Sihle Zikalala Photo: ANA
As a concerned South African, I am disturbed by this proposal, not because I feel aggrieved at being robbed of an opportunity to submit a bid and make a quick buck. My concerns are based purely on principle. I believe your attempt at political engineering runs counter to the spirit and ethos of our constitution and violates my inalienable rights as a citizen.
What also bothers me, Mr Zikalala, is the apparent secrecy in which your executive appears to have gone about this exercise. May I ask why there appears to have been no proper consultation with the people directly affected by such a proposal?
Had you opted for a public debate, you would have found most Indian and coloured people are not opposed to transformation. Like you, they want to see a future KwaZulu-Natal and South Africa in which all citizens have equal opportunity and rights.
I notice you and your leadership are at pains to assure everyone that the restructured BEE laws are not meant to discriminate against any community. But what really troubles me, Mr Zikalala, is that your proposal appears to be strictly race-based, which is unbecoming of a party that spearheaded the historic campaign that gave rise to the demise of racial segregation.
I support your stand that racial transformation, the redistribution of wealth and the acceleration of opportunities for people disadvantaged by apartheid are non-negotiable. And I agree the need for redress is pressing in many black communities who bore the brunt of deprivation, but let’s not fall into the trap of seeking this redress through race-tinted glasses.
Part of the blame for these backlogs also lies on the shoulders of government leaders and officials who are consumed by greed and self-interest rather than the welfare of the people they claim to represent.
Disclaimer - The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the BEE CHAMBER