Manyi's remarks disturbing - ANC

Ruling party accepts cabinet spokesperson's unconditional apology


The African National Congress (ANC) would like to distance itself from views expressed by Government Spokesperson Jimmy Manyi - made in his capacity as President of the Black Management Forum (BMF) in March last year - regarding the coloured community in the Western Cape.

Among other disturbing remarks made by Manyi during the interview broadcast on KykNet , while still Director-General of the Department of Labour, were: "So this over-concentration of coloureds in the Western Cape is not working for them". He further said: "They should spread in the rest of the country ........ so they must stop this over concentration situation because they are in over supply where they are. So you must look into the country and see where you can meet the supply."

We want to categorically put on record that the remarks made by Manyi neither represent ANC nor Government policy. Based on the Freedom Charter, which espouses non-racialism as a guiding principle the ANC, together with all our people, including the coloured community, has fought for the liberation of all South Africans to live freely wherever they desire in the country.

Any narrow view that coloured people are in "over supply in the Western Cape" and should, therefore, move to other parts of the country to realise their dreams of a better life, is not in keeping with the rights of all South Africans, including coloured people. This right is enshrined in the Constitution.

What we also find unacceptable is a description that portrays coloured people as a commodity rather than people who enjoy the same rights as any other South African citizen. The terms "over supply" and "over concentration" are best used in reference to commodities and not human beings.

While we believe that Manyi possesses good communication, business and political astuteness, we believe that in this particular instance, he has committed a grave error of judgment.

Having reflected on our displeasure on the remarks by Manyi, we would like to reiterate that the Employment Equity Act is a necessary policy to affirm those who were previously discriminated against, including the coloured community. Coloured people were - like any other previously oppressed South Africans - discriminated against and prevented from playing a meaningful role in shaping our economy in the private and public sectors.


The African National Congress welcome the apology made by the Government Spokesperson,  Mr. Jimmy Manyi, in respect of the unfortunate statement he made about coloured people in the Western Cape, a statement he made in his capacity as the President of  the Black Management Forum last year.  This illustrates that we have a person in the name of Mr. Manyi who is able to acknowledge any wrongdoing on his part and show remorse.

His unconditional apology is important in that as a Government Spokesperson, he must uphold the content and spirit of our Constitution and as well as the ethos and values of the governing party. 

Statements issued by Jackson Mthembu, African National Congress national spokesperson, February 25 2011

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