Dr Dirk Hermann, deputy-general secretary of Solidarity trade union, yesterday appealed to Trevor Manuel, SA's ( Cape Coloured ) Minister in the Presidency in charge of the National Planning Commission, to join the fight against the 'tyranny of racial job-restriction representativity' .
The outspoken Afrikaner trade-unionist called a press conference about the issue in Cape Town on April 11 2012. Hermann warned: "The Department of Correctional Services has gone too far with its affirmative action plan by Jimmy Manyi, chairman of the Commission for (racial) Employment Equity”. Background:
Trevor Manuel the Minister in the Presidency in charge of the National Planning Commission, on March 2 2012 publicly slammed ANC-colleague Jimmy Manyi, chairman of the commission for Employment Equity, over the latter’s statement that the Western Cape had an ‘over-representation of coloured people…’ with Manuel commenting: “Mr Manyi, you may be black, or perhaps you aren’t, because you do not accept that label and would prefer to be “only a Xhosa”. Whatever the label you choose, I want to put it to you that your behaviour is of the worst-order racist.”
details for above on: Racial ANC bars basic job rights for coloureds, whites in Western Cape:
Trade unionist Hermann warned they will go to court to fight for the job-rights of coloured and white people in the Western Cape, saying: "This plan has nothing to do with ' restitution '-- but everything with race".
“The Department of Correctional Services has decided to apply the national demographics to the Western Cape province: where 54% of the economically-active population are coloured people.
"Solidarity will challenge this ideology in court on behalf of its members. The legal action will be twofold: First, legal proceedings will be instituted against Correctional Services in order to have its affirmative action plan declared unconstitutional. Second, individual cases will be consolidated to fight the injustice committed against the individuals concerned. Five court cases (four on behalf of coloured persons and one on behalf of a white person) have already been consolidated and consultations are underway with 26 other individuals. Therefore, more than 30 employees may take action against Correctional Services' ‘race-based plan'.
"Solidarity has nothing against any bona fide process geared towards ensuring employment equity, but it does have serious objections to the way in which affirmative action is being implemented
"Over-concentration of coloured people in the Western Cape' - Manyi
Hermann: "Correctional Services' 'affirmative action' plan is nothing more than a manifestation of Mr Jimmy Manyi's controversial statements about the overconcentration of coloured people in the Western Cape. Let me put his statements in perspective by quoting him as saying:
Hermann: These comments unleashed a furore on the head of Jimmy Manyi, who is the current government spokesman and former director-general of Labour; and the man who chairs the Commission for Employment Equity. Mr Trevor Manuel, South Africa's internationally respected Planning Commission Head, reacted to these remarks in an open letter to Manyi. To refresh your memory, Manuel said the following: ‘...your statements about an overconcentration of Coloureds are against the letter and spirit of the Constitution ...' ( Manuel’s letter to Manyi ) Manuel wrote that Manyi's utterances were "both unconstitutional and morally reprehensible", saying: ‘I want to put it to you that these statements would make you a racist in the mould of HF Verwoerd, I want to put it to you that you have the same mind that operated under apartheid ... ‘Now, in the light of the utterances you made when you were the DG of the Department of Labour, and given the fact that the amendments to the Employment Equity Act were drafted under your tenure, I have a sense that your racism has infiltrated the highest echelons of government. ‘Count me among those who, in spite of my position, will ensure that parliament acts in the letter and spirit of our constitution when it adopts amendments to the act.'‘... I will do battle against the harm you seek to inflict. ‘I must declare my willingness to make sacrifices now in deference to the opening lines of the Freedom Charter that boldly declare that South Africa belongs to all who live in it. ‘I know now who Nelson Mandela was talking about when he said from the dock that he had fought against white domination and that he had fought against black domination.'
‘Jimmy, he was talking about fighting against people like you.' end quote by Trevor Manuel.
Hermann: " Now allow me to introduce five of the employees of the Department of Correctional Services to you. Four are coloured and one white. They are Geo-nita Baartman, Linda-Jean Fortuin, André Jonkers, Christopher February and Pieter Dawids. These five employees applied for posts in Correctional Services. These employees were identified as the best candidates for the positions in question and were recommended for appointment in those posts.However, the recommendations were not viewed as consistent with the affirmative action plan of the Department of Correctional Services. According to the department's affirmative action plan, national demographics must be reflected in every workplace.
The posts in question had to be reserved for black African candidates. In the Western Cape, coloured South Africans constitute 54% of the province's economically active population. The department's affirmative action plan is based on national demographics, which means that the (allowable representative employment) target for coloureds must be only 9%...
The National Commissioner' (Manyi’s) directive states:
- ‘Regions are not to develop their own regional plans based on the regional demographic profile of the economically active people but that the different regions are to develop own BEE implementation plans to work towards realization of the national numeric goals set for the entire department.'
People become numbers... people are being treated like objects:
So what we hear is that there is 'an overconcentration of coloureds in the Western Cape'. As Manyi said, this 'overconcentration' does not work for Geo-nita, Linda-Jean, André, Christopher, Pieter and thousands of other employees like them”. Hermann: "This is a numerical approach to affirmative action. People become numbers. Manuel is saying that ‘people are being treated like objects’. In one place there is an "oversupply" of a certain group of people and elsewhere there is an "undersupply". That is, in effect, what Manyi's remarks meant... An output-based affirmative action programme has little to do with equity, but has a lot to do with race.
Was Manyi merely ‘wearing a racist hat in the mould of HF Verwoerd’, as Manuel put it? No - this numerical approach to affirmative action has, in fact, become an affirmative action policy... It has become part and parcel of the affirmative action plans of government departments. The country must mirror the national demographics in all areas in terms of this approach.
The tyranny of representivity has become an affirmative action policy of the government: Manyi represents an apartheid-idea…
“The tyranny of representivity has become affirmative action. Jimmy Manyi's controversial remarks are merely a reflection of the government's concept of affirmative action. He was so skillful in verbalising the government's approach, that he was appointed as Cabinet spokesman. Mr Manuel, your target should not be Jimmy Manyi; it should be the ideas he represents.
Hermann: “While Manyi's utterances were both unconstitutional and morally reprehensible, the ideas that he represents are even more so. Manyi represents an apartheid idea. If you want to speak about fighting against people who, in Mr Mandela's words, wish to replace one form of domination with another, you must not fight against Manyi, but against the idea he propagates, namely the tiranny of' representivity' ...
“Mr Manuel, you are correct. The racist ideas verbalised by Manyi have infiltrated the highest echelons of the government. They are the government's ideas. You have declared yourself prepared to fight against these ideas. If you are prepared to take on not Manyi the person, but his mindset, you should also stand up to your fellow ministers' affirmative action plans on behalf of the employees of Correctional Services. Mr Manuel, we therefore call on you to join us as we stand up in court for what is right,” Mr Hermann concluded.