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Mercedes Besent | 21 September 2023

The Employment Minister, Thulas Nxesi, says he agrees with the call for affirmative action to be limited to Blacks and Whites, instead of creating separate targets for Indians and Coloureds.

The Al Jama-ah leader, Ganief Hendricks, made the call, stating that Coloureds and Indians were Black.

Hendricks was speaking in the National Assembly during an oral reply session for ministers in the Economic Cluster.

However, Nxesi says that the aim of the categories in the Black group is to address historical imbalances.

“You are right. In our definition of the national question, we talk about Blacks. But, because of our racial history, some people want to deny it and think that merit must only apply to Whites when they talk about merit. But we have been able to say it means these categories. We are saying all of them are Black, and in these interactions, we have said we are ready to listen.

“We have even opened the period for people to make input on the regulations. We’re listening to the people. If there is anything fundamental they are putting, we are going to be able to re-look at some of the areas. But be comfortable that when we are talking about the disadvantage, we are talking about the Black people, all of them in their various groups. Unfortunately, we use these racial terms which are uncomfortable, but it’s part of our history created by some people.”

‘Disclaimer - The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the BEE CHAMBER’.

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