Should whites go?

Andrew Kenny on whether this minority should aid transformation by leaving

Do white South Africans have a moral duty to emigrate? Considering the funeral eulogies recently delivered for Robert Mugabe, the path to acclaim for African leaders lies not in uplifting the blacks but in getting rid of the whites. Judging by the huge applause he won in African capitals, in international forums such as the UN, and of course at any ANC gathering, it meant nothing that Mugabe slaughtered tens of thousands of blacks, kicked far more out of their homes and livelihoods, wrecked the Zimbabwe economy and sent millions of black people fleeing from the country of their birth. Silence.

The only thing that mattered was that he got rid of minority white rule, kicked white farmers off the lands and murdered about twenty of them. Thunderous applause! That made him a big hero. Will ANC leaders, who worship Mugabe, seek similar heroic stature by kicking whites out of South Africa? Is EWC (Expropriation Without Compensation) part of this quest? Do white people have a moral obligation to aid ANC heroism by quitting their lands and their jobs, and getting out of the country?

ANC policy suggests so. The stated aim of the ANC racial laws is to get rid of whites. Racial affirmative action compels race as a criterion for appointments. White applicants should be rejected where possible. Employment Equity seeks “Demographic Representivity”, which means that the racial proportions at every level of employment should aim at the same proportions in the population at large. As 92% of the population is black, 92% of school teachers should be black. The white population now is less than 8%, and shrinking, but many professions have more than 8% whites. They must go.

“Transformation” also means getting rid of the whites. You hear politicians and activists saying in one breath, “Transformation is more than getting rid of whites”, and in the next breath complaining, “60% of the XXX profession are white!” BEE (Black Economic Employment) is the same; it means appointing black people or awarding procurement to companies on skin colour 

European colonialists invaded Southern Africa about four centuries ago and displaced and oppressed both the indigenous people (the Bushmen) and the earlier colonists (the Bantu). Under apartheid, the white minority government denied freedom, rights and skilled jobs to the black majority, and harmed and humiliated them. When apartheid ended, South Africa had the strongest economy in Africa but this did not excuse the crime of apartheid. So, should whites should feel ashamed of themselves and atone for their sins? Judging from the remarks of most black activists and the policies of the ANC, the best way they can atone is by emigrating. A huge number have already done so and more are following.

Every day on our radio phone in programmes, and from commentators in newspapers, we notice abuse hurled at white people for their ill-gotten wealth, racism, arrogance and wicked ways. Julius Malema, a budding mini-Mugabe, puts the blame for all South Africa’s woes, including violent xenophobic attacks by local blacks on foreign blacks, on “white monopoly capital”. (White monopoly capital simply means any white business activity, including competing white companies.) Some of the worst anti-white sentiment comes from other whites.

There is a professional clique of white white-haters, who make their living from white guilt and from implementing the racial policies of the ANC. They run “diversity” programmes and are in charge of companies that explain and enforce the complicated “BEE scorecards”. At the universities, the white-hating whites are the most ardent enforcers of racial student admissions – although they refuse point blank to say how they make their racial classifications.

They do not explain why they themselves do not resign to make way for blacks. In our newspapers, you can almost see the white-hating white commentators furrowing their brows at every misfortune in South Africa and thinking, “How can I blame the whites for this one?” The message from all the white white-haters is that “we whites” – by which they mean “you whites” - must feel guilty, guilty, guilty, and must keep saying “Sorry! Sorry! Sorry!”

Here’s the strange thing. The very people who keep telling us with their words how much they hate whites demonstrate with their actions how much they love them. The outstanding example is school education. ANC policy is to promote affirmative action teachers in schools and to ensure that 92% of teachers are black. In fact, most schools in South Africa do have at least 92% black teachers. But none of the ANC leaders or the EFF leaders or black dignitaries or white white-haters send their own children to such schools.

They send them to schools where the majority of the teachers are white, and where teaching appointments are made on merit not skin colour. Naledi Pandor, a previous minister of education, sent her son to Bishops and her daughter to Herschel. President Ramaphosa sent his sons to St Stithians and his daughters to Roedean. Other black leaders choose the same sort of schools, all elitist schools with mainly white teachers.

They would be utterly horrified if their children were taught by black affirmative action teachers. Why? Because they know affirmative action and demographic representivity are disastrous. They know they are wrecking the education of most black children in South Africa. Their real policy may be summed up as follows: “For our children, white teachers. For poor black children, SADTU teachers.”

Mugabe and his rich Zanu-PF henchmen were the same. While they were spewing hatred against the white population, they were sending their own children to posh private schools in Europe.

It's not just education. For any direct personal service, such as surgery, legal help and aeroplane pilots, the black elite mostly choose white people. For the poor black people, affirmative action and employment equity have done ruinous harm. In the municipalities where poor black people live, white financial managers and white engineers handling water supply and sanitation have been replaced with black affirmative action cadres chosen for race and political affiliation. The result has been disastrous: a catastrophic failure of water and sewerage services, and municipal bankruptcy. Eskom has been wrecked by corruption and incompetence, to a considerable extent because of affirmative action and BEE coal procurement. Getting rid of Eskom’s white engineers and technicians was known as “space creation”.

Let me emphasise that there is no innate difference between the competence of whites and blacks. The difference comes from appointments by race rather than competence. This has sabotaged our economy and damaged the lives of poor black people. Yet all of our major political parties, the ANC, the DA and the EFF, support these destructive racial policies. They all think that the moral imperative is to get rid of whites by affirmative action and employment equity even if it means destroying the lives of poor black people. They all say: “For the services we receive, the providers must be appointed on merit. For the services poor black people receive, the providers must be appointed on race.”

Following the logic of this policy, white maths teachers, white science teachers, white doctors, white nurses, white engineers, white IT specialists and white accountants have a moral duty to emigrate – unless they are directly serving the elite, in which case they must stay until they have finishing doing so.

Most countries on Earth welcome skilled people. South Africa must be one of the few that is trying to get rid of them. Personally, I have degrees in maths, physics and engineering, and have worked as a maths and science teacher and as an engineer. Even if I were younger, I’d find it very difficult to get employment in South Africa now. Most of my younger colleagues have emigrated and seem to be doing well abroad and are made welcome there.

A fellow student when I was studying engineering emigrated to Australia took a teaching diploma and is now happy teaching maths to disadvantaged children there. She is never made to feel ashamed of her skin colour. She is accepted as a human being, something that would not happen in South Africa, except at one of the few elitist schools.

There has been an exodus of skilled whites since 1994, and signs that it is accelerating. White professional friends and colleagues tell me their university educated children are leaving – and, although it saddens them, they are glad for their sakes that they are. At the same time that skilled whites are pouring out of South Africa, black people from all over Africa are pouring in. Does this make the white-haters happy?

If you are white, and have a strong moral sense of duty and want to do your best for South Africa and want to comply with the wishes of the democratically elected ANC government, should you stay or leave? Let me ask this. Do you think your children will be safe and happy here? Do you feel wanted here? Do you feel welcome here? 


Andrew Kenny. 19 Sep 2019


1. SAFM radio was particularly nauseating after the death of Mugabe. There was eulogy after eulogy from black South Africans. Some black Zimbabweans did complain about him but they were hastily followed by many clips from Mugabe making mocking remarks about the white. That Mugabe, you’ve got to hand it to him! So witty! Always knows how to make the whites look stupid! Hurray! One caller in said he hoped Mugabe would “rot in hell”. The presenter, a white man, Steven Grootes, was shocked. He then went on to wrinkle his brow and meditate on the “complicated legacy” of Mugabe.

2. I got my Hons Degree in Physics in 1970 and my engineering degree in 1986. I taught maths and science for five years at schools in SA and the UK and worked as an engineer in SA. An engineering colleague, much more competent than me, with an M Sc in Engineering, tried without success to get employment as an engineer. He then thought about setting up his own business but was thwarted by BEE requirements. So he left for Australia, like so many of my old colleague and friends and relatives.