Debunking a racial myth in South Africa

A column published by the The South African Institute Of Race Relations (SAIRR) questions the myth that representivity of the population is a necessary requirement for the development of South Africa and all its people.

“No country in the world is likely to achieve racial, cultural or other representitivity unless extreme social engineering is implemented,” said Sara Gon, policy fellow at the IRR, in an article on PoliticsWeb.

Gon said that even the inequities of apartheid do not warrant imposing simplistic and statistically questionable, numeric representativity on the basis of race to reflect the national demographics of the country.

“The need to redress the deleterious effects of apartheid on the black population is not a debatable debate,” Gon stressed.

“However, upliftment should be directed at the disadvantaged and thus meet most of the government’s needs to achieve redress for those who were the victims of apartheid. Not all blacks are either disadvantaged or poor anymore.”

The IRR fellow said that the national demographic as a measure for redress is not natural, not achievable and largely based on false premises.

“To use broad national demographics as a measure is not in itself fair: it’s too broad, it’s unsubtle, it takes no account of cultural difference, it is a false measure, it ensures that mediocrity is forced onto employers (private or public) and it does little to reduce poverty.”

This, Gon said,  does not mean that society and government must not do everything possible to uplift its people. “Of course not, but it must not expect it to be achieved in exact proportion (or more) to the black population: the notion is sinister.”

The full article can be found on PoliticsWeb

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Debunking a racial myth in South Africa