Western Cape Should Be Exempted From Race-Based Legislation

PRESS RELEASE: CIAG calls on DA led Western Cape Government to seek an exemption from Employment Equity Amendment Bill in the National Council of Provinces

CIAG calls for Western Cape exemption from the Employment Equity Amendment Bill

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The National Assembly has provisionally passed the Employment Equity Amendment Bill and it will now be sent to the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) for concurrent approval. The legislation paves the way for the even stricter use of racial targets, which in practice means race quotas. The Cape Independence Advocacy Group (CIAG) calls upon the Western Cape Government to propose an amendment in the NCOP calling for the Western Cape to be exempted from the legislation on the basis that voters in the province do not support race-based policy.

Phil Craig, spokesperson for the CIAG explains, “So called ‘Employment Equity’ policies have apartheid era racial classification at their heart. It is morally reprehensible for a national government to force overtly racist policies onto a region which has democratically expressed its opposition to them.”

Not only is non-racialism a founding provision of the South African constitution, but it is the clearly stated policy of the Democratic Alliance (DA) who have once again been mandated by a clear majority of Western Cape voters in the recent Local Government Elections.

“The CIAG is painfully aware of the enduring legacies of race-based policy in the Western Cape and is fully committed to addressing them” Craig says, “but this is all the more reason not to repeat the same mistakes. The National Government cannot be allowed to cover up the failure of its education system and the chronic unemployment crisis which it has itself created, by using racial quotas to not only hide the true consequences of their mismanagement, but to continue to perpetuate them”

It is crucial that neither the Western Cape people, nor the Western Cape Government regard themselves as powerless in the political process. They aren’t. The South African constitution was not written with the intention that a national majority would use it to force racist policies onto a province predominantly populated by ethnic minorities against its will, especially not one where the ruling party who proposed the bill is supported by just 20% of voters. The DA have described this bill as a ‘Job-destroying Jackhammer’.

“It is time for the DA led Western Cape government to draw a line in the sand. The DA must propose the exclusion. If the ANC government opposes it and instead insists on forcing apartheid era racial classifications onto the Western Cape, then the provincial government must instigate a constitutional ‘work to rule’ by encouraging all Western Cape residents, employees, and business owners to reclassify themselves as ‘African’ without stating their race. This would render the amended Employment Equity legislation unworkable in the province whilst still complying with the law”, Craig concludes.

DATE: 18 November 2021

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