At the advent of independence in South Africa in 1994 the buzzwords were black empowerment and affirmative action. This was to redress the inequalities of the past era in South Africa. I have no problem with this concept, although a lot of my friends have lost jobs and positions because of this policy.
It is now nearly the end of 2009 which makes it about fifteen years after independence in 1994 and the buzzwords black empowerment and affirmative action are still being bandied about as if nothing has changed. I took a tour round the places that I do business with and I made the following visual observations:-
1. The twenty or so tills were all manned by black people as were the packers who help at the tills. The butchery, the bakery and the shelf packers were all black. The manager is black. I saw only two white women, one was at the cigarette counter and the other one was in the office. This was at one of the mainline supermarkets where we do most of our shopping
2. The bank that I do my business with all the tellers were black with one Indian and one coloured lady. The enquiries counter was all black as is the bank manager.
3. Department of Home Affairs is all Black.
4. Department of Labour is all Black.
6. A clothing chain store is all Black with the exception of the white woman manageress and two others.
7. The local government hospital is all Black and incidentally is in a shocking state as far as service is concerned.
8. KFC all black.
If you go through our town you will struggle to find white faces behind any of the counters. What is very sad for me is that affirmative action has resulted in the lowering of service standards. Most of the staff do not have the foggiest idea what customer satisfaction means. They are forever busy on cell phones or carrying on conversations with each other when they should be focusing on the customer standing in front of them. In the supermarkets the person at the till and the packer openly discuss the Malungu standing in front of them with at times not very nice comments about what he is buying.
In conclusion I feel that affirmative action should be done away with as it has achieved what it was supposed to. Just maybe the problem is that the black people are scared to compete on the open market for employment opportunities.