Mandela slates ‘insensitive’ proposal to exclude coloured and Indian BEE contractors

20 October 2017

A proposal to exclude South Africans who are coloured and those of Indian descent from lucrative state contracts in KwaZulu-Natal is ill-conceived and designed to only benefit the advantaged, said MP and chief Nkosi Zwelivelile Mandela on Monday.

“The proposal flies in the face of the significant contribution that other sectors of the historically disadvantaged have made to the struggle for freedom, justice and democracy,” said the grandson of former president Nelson Mandela.

This was after the Sunday Times reported on a proposal by KwaZulu-Natal MEC for economic development Sihle Zikalala to reconfigure black economic empowerment policies to benefit “black Africans” for state contracts worth more than R50-million.

Mandela said the focus should be on rooting out corruption and narrowing the urban-rural divide caused by apartheid policies.

‘Insensitive and crass’

The proposal also flies in the face of the ANC’s Mangaung resolution for radical economic transformation for all who were historically disadvantaged. Zikalala is also ANC chairperson in KwaZulu-Natal. He said the contributions of Dullah Omar, Imam Gassan Solomon, Lizzy Abrahams, Bibi Dawood, Dulcie September, Anton Fransch, Fatima Meer, Amina Cachalia and many others could be regarded as “lesser” contributions than those made by people that apartheid classified as Africans.

“How insensitive and crass can you get to imply that the sacrifices of the Indian and coloured communities were somehow lesser,” said Mandela.

Excluding them amounts to revisionism, and is akin to the apartheid tactic of divide and rule, he continued.

Mandela said the ANC should rather focus on implementing the revised Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment Act of 2010 to seize ownership and management control of the country’s major enterprises and industries to make sure the entire spectrum of society is eventually reflected on the Forbes rich list. 

Related articles

Read the latest issue

Latest Issue