DA announces mass protest to finish off race quotas – John Steenhuisen

Party leader says a whole-of-society approach, where we work together towards a common goal, can succeed

DA announces mass protest to finish off race quotas

29 June 2023

The Democratic Alliance (DA) can today announce that we are arranging mass protest action against the race quotas recently introduced by the African National Congress (ANC) through the Employment Equity Amendment Act (EEAA).

We invite every South African who values non-racialism, fair access to jobs and a thriving private economy to join us on the streets of Cape Town on 26 July 2023 to demand the complete scrapping of the Act’s provisions that give the Minister of Employment and Labour the power to set racial quotas.

The protest is designed to build on the success achieved by trade union Solidarity in the form of a settlement reached with the South African government in a process conducted under the auspices of the International Labour Organisation (ILO).

In terms of this settlement, the government has agreed to amend the regulations issued in terms of the Act to recognise that race-based affirmative action must be temporary, that there can be no absolute prohibition on employing people based on race, and that skills must be taken into account.

The DA thanks and congratulates Solidarity for this important breakthrough.

However, for as long as the EEAA provisions giving the Minister arbitrary powers to determine racial quotas for private companies remain on the statute books, the risk remains that these quotas will be enforced.

The result will be the extension of cadre deployment into the private sector by giving the government the power to dictate appointments at private companies.

Estimates show that, if the government reneges on its word and enforces the quota regulations, 600 000 people will lose their jobs because they have the “wrong” skin colour or live and work in the “wrong” areas.

That is why the DA is continuing with our High Court challenge to declare the Act unconstitutional, thereby scrapping it and making it entirely impossible for the ANC to introduce racial quotas.

Solidarity has noted that the breakthrough it has achieved regarding the regulations “was definitely influenced by a community standing together.”

The DA agrees.

This is a clear signal that a whole-of-society approach, where we work together towards a common goal, can succeed.

The DA’s next contribution to the whole-of-society fightback against race quotas will be the mass protest in Cape Town on 26 July, where we will be inviting our partners in civil society to join us in the streets.

This united fight against race quotas and the successes we are already achieving also reinforces the urgency and potential of the Moonshot Pact.

South African society is going to defeat the ANC’s race quotas because we are standing as one against this destructive policy.

We must now build on this unity of purpose to ensure the success of the Moonshot Pact, which will see opposition parties uniting to form a viable alternative that can defeat the ANC’s destructive policies and inaugurate a new government next year to rescue South Africa.

Just like we are working in unison with our partners in civil society to defeat race quotas, the DA is committed to working with our partners to defeat the ANC in 2024.

Issued by John Steenhuisen, Leader of the Democratic Alliance, 29 June 2023