DA`s u-turn on BBBEE and EE unsurprising

12 November 2013

By withdrawing its support for employment equity and broad based black economic empowerment (BBBE), the DA has effectively sent an unequivocal message to its Black supporters, including people living with disabilities and women, that they are on their own. Helen Zille`s bombshell at the weekend, which castigated the party`s black parliamentary leaders (Lindiwe Mazibuko and Sejamothopo Motau) for leading the support for these pieces of legislation designed to empower black people, is a candid confirmation of what we have always known: that the DA is anti transformation; anti redress and anti social justice. It was the most brutal reminder to the black folks in the party to know their place or else.

It is clear that there have been internal racial tensions within the party on these Bills with some, especially black DA members, supporting these measures to transform the economy whilst others, particularly white members, adopting an anti-transformation stance. It is now a matter of public record whose side Zille took on the matter. Poor Mmusi Maimane will now have to take down the billboards he unveiled in support of the BBBEE and apologise to Wilmot James for having clashed with him on the matter. James long announced the DA will soon drop the BBBEE in favour of what he called Diversity Economic Empowerment (read Entrenchment of White Economic Empowerment).

DA`s Diversity Economic Empowerment means a well off white person who benefited from the past economic injustices deserves an equal chance of empowerment as a poor black person who inherited centuries of generational poverty. Its "open opportunity society" policy ignores the current glaring economic inequality brought about by centuries of racial inequality, violent dispossession and economic exclusion. It says that both blacks and whites must be empowered equally through BBBEE, even though wealth ownership is still incredibly concentrated in the hands of the minority.

BBBEE and employment equity are by design, intended to redress the economic injustices of the past that excluded and regarded blacks as pariahs in the land of their birth. The DA says do away with "black" from the policy and replace it with "diversity" to also benefit even the richest whites who, as statistics have repeatedly illustrated, are still centuries ahead of Black majority economically. This is a shameless defence of the apartheid legacy deliberately aimed at deepening white wealth accumulation where the poor black majority become even poorer and the rich white minority become even richer. It does not come as a surprise therefore that the majority of young people polled believe the DA will bring back apartheid should it take over government. Indeed which young person would find a party that is still clinging to the past by defending white privilege attractive?

By withdrawing her party`s support for these transformative pieces of legislation, Zille has effectively shown the Black members the door. It has become increasingly apparent that the party is using black supporters as mere voting fodder.


Moloto Mothapo 082 370 6930