Limiting affirmative action threatens to simply re-distribute resentment- Numsa

Numsa Press statement for immediate release

June 12, 2006

The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA) is set to vigorously frustrate attempts by counterpart labour federation and opposition parties in Parliament to limit affirmative action to February 1990.

One of the toughest questions facing the country is how to deal with enormous inequalities created under apartheid for the past three centuries, rather than worrying about who gets the meat and how the affirmative action is poison for others. If affirmative action is reversed this will simply redistribute resentment and damage economy.

Affirmative action was put on the agenda for social and economic change because the ANC and its tripartite alliance partners, including COSATU rejected the idea of anything in the new South Africa being meat for some and poison or others. It was all about scrapping and burying apartheid.

The Federation of Unions of South Africa (FEDUSA) and Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Labour last week welcomed proposals by made by Tuks Afrikaanse Studente (TAS) to limit affirmative action to those born before February 2, 1990 .

FEDUSA further said it has always believed that affirmative action should be implemented for a defined period only, and further advocated that those who grew up with equal opportunities should be excluded from the process.

“Our whole approach is that what is good for the majority can and should be good for the minority. For goodness sake a black child born in 2006 in the squatter camps still does not enjoy the same privileges and opportunities as their white counterparts”, NUMSA statement further explained.

It is not just in terms of education, but also nutrition, safe and hygienic environment, access to basic services including flushing toilets, clean water and electricity.

The country – rich and poor, black and white – wants peace, prosperity and justice. Our country is, indeed, rich enough to ensure not meat for some, poison for others, but fair nourishment for all.