Racial Discrimination: The Maker for Redress in South Africa


Racial discrimination in South Africa is not a thing of the present. It began back in the pre-colonial times when Europeans introduced apartheid rule. The latter discriminated based on race. It happens that in the present day, the practice is still inevitable. Why? For instance, most of the prestigious companies in the South are headed by white men. On rare occasions will you find a man of color in charge of prominent organizations. In a way, the culture of colonization still lives to date.

Racial Categorization

Even though apartheid rule is no more, racial categorization has sure replaced it. However, it is unfortunate that the state’s governing body might be the leading player in this act. A lot of controversies have popped up of the South African government categorizing people based on their races. A recent incident of one Glen Snyman, a south African nationality of mixed racial heritage, sparked mixed reactions.

While applying for a headteacher’s post in 2016, Mr. Glen decided to tick the African box on his application form. He was charged with fraud. Apparently, he had lied about his race. During the apartheid times, South Africans were divided into four broad groups. There were the Whites, Africans, Colored, and Indians. Out of all these groups, the Africans were the minority while the whites were the superiors.

Although the local authorities managed to free Mr. Snyman, the issue degenerated into a more significant case, which is an issue to date. The Population Registration Act was the primary driver behind the emergence of apartheid. In 1991 South Africans re-appealed for the ban of the apartheid rule. Nevertheless, it was until 1994 that they got justice. Though it is quite clear, the government and some organizations still embrace some apartheid practices.

To date, Glen Snyman is among the people advocating for equality. I.e., the government and private sectors should deliver to all South Africans equally and not discriminate on identity. According to Mr. Snyman, since the Population Registration Act is no more, the job recruitment officers, governments, and private systems do not have legal rights to classify South Africans by race.

Preference of Status to Race

Although Mr. Snyman acknowledges that the South African government still has a lot to redress, he also thinks that instead of using race, the government should focus on people’s class to resolve racial classification. By looking at peoples living standards, the government can at least conclude who best deserves an opportunity or need.

The government does not have to know the identity of people by groups; they need to know the people who need services, jobs, or whatever the need might be. He said the government and private sector should deliver to all South Africans equally and not discriminate on identity.

A former newspaper editor, Ryland Fisher, also stated that if the government adopted class as the marker for redressing, many blacks would receive aid. Blacks are the majority in the southern African state, though also the poorest. And at the same time, a black who has lived a life full of privileges won’t qualify for the opportunities. All citizens have a right to enjoy the opportunities in their country, and absolutely no one has the power to defy such rights.





Related Posts

Illuminating the Promise of Africa.

Receive captivating stories direct to your inbox that reveal the cultures, innovations, and changemakers shaping the continent.