Ironically, in his attempt to analyse the “stumbling blocks” obstructing the emergence of a non-racial society, Professor Nico Koopman of Stellenbosch University manages to stumble over the relevant issues while ignoring the wrecking ball effect of the Employment Equity Act on the goal of non-racialism (The Mercury, September 22).
Echoing Martin Luther King, Koopman rightly states that non-racialism means not measuring one another’s worth and value on the basis of skin colour. But where he loses the plot is by insisting that diversity is needed because “excellence is not possible without diversity and excellence thrives where there is rich diversity.”
Here Koopman is dead wrong. Excellence is synonymous with competence which is not dependent on diversity. Orchestras, for example, may comprise a diverse range of musicians regarding age, gender and race, but the excellence of their sound is a result of competence, not diversity.
Nowhere in his analysis does Koopman consider the irrefutable significance of racial identity. Parroting the narrative that there is only one human race does not evade that reality. Consciousness of racial identity is natural for most people. But the extent of that awareness is raised when social engineering in the form of the Employment Equity Act is pursued. Such legislation weaponises racial discrimination and deceives nobody that it is intended to produce a non-racial society. There is nothing opaque about the meaning of ‘transformation.’ It means majoritarianism.
In that context, why is Koopman silent about the existence of organisations such as Black Lawyers, Black Accountants and the Black Management Forum? Surely they are critical stumbling blocks to building a non-racial society?
At the outset of his article, Koopman looks forward to a “rich diversity of classes, colours and genders.” But in his concluding paragraph, he calls for the formation of a “non-classist, non-racial, non-sexist” order thereby contradicting his advocacy of diversity.
Diversity without conformity to recognised standards perpetuates racial consciousness and exacerbates racial discrimination thereby diminishing the attainment of non-racialism.
Despite trumpeting the demise of apartheid, the ANC has re-racialised South Africa by legislating prescriptive demographic quotas and practising cadre deployment. The only sure path to non-racialism is by abolishing such legislation and practices and enshrining merit.