An act of (real or perceived) racism anywhere can have devastating consequences for a whole neighbourhood, its business operations and its schools: this is the possibility implicit in the EFF’s statement that it will descend upon and disrupt Brackenfell “in its entirety”.
Some background: after Brackenfell High School’s official Matric Ball was canceled because of COVID-19, students and parents planned a separate masquerade ball with two teachers. The event only had white attendants. A few protests and fights later, the EFF released a statement that, among other things, said —
BEE Novation would like to point out that —
This is not a commendation or condemnation of the EFF’s methods: it’s instead a reminder that we have laws we can choose to apply instead of the EFF’s methods, if we prefer laws. But we can’t be selective: the EEA, the BBBEEA, the SDA and many other laws are the first deterrent to a vigilantist reaction to (real or perceived) racism. So we can’t complain about corruption down the line if we, too, have undermined the law; neither can we complain about racism if we haven’t actively held one another accountable for how we observe the law.
After condemning the clashes, the South African Human Rights Commission said, “The deep racial divisions of South Africa’s apartheid and colonial past cannot be healed while children are socialised separately on the basis of race and thus, as a nation, we will never be able to forge a South Africa where all are equal, free and are treated with dignity.”
Socialisation is a function of what parents expose their children to. The hope that by passive osmosis the next generation will somehow transcend their parents’ unconscious biases is, itself, racist. President Ramaphosa has called for dialogue, but 26 years into democracy we have the tools to move into reconciliatory action: what we need is political leadership that urges the media, society at large and the business sector to engage the aforementioned legal instruments in nation-building efforts.
BEE Novation is a transformation legislation compliance consultancy that is concerned about the future of this country. Follow our social media platforms for updates on upcoming events. BEE Novation will also be providing some public thought-leadership on how to proactively engage the schools and businesses in your sphere of influence to ensure they are complying with transformation legislation.
Black people are already looking for transformed suppliers, so it’s possible to convert the EFF’s analyses into constructive corrective action that contributes to nation-building.