Addressing the issue of racism in the the country has been a major concern not only to the South African government but also to well meaning individuals. A newly established group that aims at tackling racism says putting laws in place to deal with the issue isn’t just enough.
Speaking on the issue, the Oliver Tambo Foundation Director Mavuso Msimang said despite how deep rooted racism has become in the country, it can be stopped. He further added that the idea that ruling ANC has been engulfed by racial acts baffles him.
“It worries me that people are even complaining that there is racism that’s being manifested in some actions of the ANC.”
The new group has the likes of former director-general in the presidency Frank Chikane and former Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) boss Brigalia Bam.
Again, Reverend Ray McCauley of the Rhema Bible Church pointed out that churches have prominent roles to play in allaying the hard grip of racism in the south African society. “I think in certain areas we’ve gone backwards instead of forwards,” he added.
Group chair Judge Yvonne Mokgoro also added that though laws are important to teach people that racism is wrong, it is also a social ill that needs urgent addressing by all.
South Africa has enough laws that can help deal with those engaged in various racial acts but most people are of the view that they are not strong enough to put to and end the deadly effects it has in the nation.
The Gauteng province introduced the team yesterday, after Premier David Makhura promised in his State of the Province Address to establish a group of eminent people to work on social cohesion and nation building, starting in the province.
The group was established because of racial comments that emerged on social media earlier this year and the 2015 xenophobic attacks.
Meanwhile, former President Thabo Mbeki has reiterated the bad effect of racism in the country. Pointing out that the country is made of two different nations, one is white and wealthy and the other one is black and poor, he said:
“We are not one nation‚ but two‚ and neither are we becoming one nation.”
Speaking at a conference hosted by the South African Human Rights Commission to celebrate its 20 years existence at the Gallagher Estate in Midrand, Mbeki said South Africans had over the years‚ spoken less about the fact that eradication of the racist legacy must “constitute the heart and the focal point of the struggle to create a non-racial society…”
“We should draw lessons from our past and work to build on what has been achieved in the struggle against racism.” he said adding that in order to fight racism‚ the state needed to strengthen its legal capacity and ensure that the school curriculum inculcated “the values of non-racialism and non sexism”.