South Africa: It's Not Just BEE, Race-Based Affirmative Action Must Go Too


The DA is not the original author of existing race-based policy in South Africa, but it makes sense that criticism of these policies is landed at the DA's feet -- the party is after all best placed to fight them. The ANC would not abandon its own policies, and they are particularly shielded from scrutiny by the fact that President Cyril Ramaphosa chaired the BEE commission himself. If there is one administration that will not alter race policy under its own steam, it is this one.

The DA's shift on BEE

Unfortunately, the DA has spent the better half of the past decade either in support of a race-based policy, confused, or mounting a rather weak offensive. In the latest DA manifesto, the party recommends the further use of race and supports BEE (just not the ANC version, which ironically is just like the DA version).

The DA manifesto is silent on employment equity, as are all its other policy documents.

After the national elections, however, the ink on its manifesto barely dry, Maimane stood up in Parliament and in an epiphanic moment announced that BEE should be scrapped. A fuller account of the history of race-based policy in the...

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