The ANC Treasurer General Zweli Mkhize said racism will continue to thrive in South Africa until black and white citizens of the country are exposed to equal access to economic resources and opportunities.
The ruling party treasury chief was speaking at a Racism Dialogue organized by the Durban University of Technology when he indicated that the ugly history of South Africa will continue to haunt citizens of the nation if the economic opportunities status quo remains the way it currently is.
Acknowledging that the “evil” laws of the past changed, he argued that the socio-economic indices are still illustrating legacies of discrimination. “This legacy means we still have poverty, this legacy defines levels of education and income,” he stated.
Mkhize referred to the Freedom Charter and cited that it “tried to define the nation in the absence of apartheid”. According to him, equality and mutual acceptance were the core values of the Freedom Charter.
“Living in the same suburb does not make us equal…How do we eradicate racism without eradicating poverty and inequality…How do you emancipate those who were brought up feeling they are superior?” He asked.
Answering his questions, he remarked that the nation must reject being defined by race. “If we want a non-racial South Africa then we cannot accept us being defined by race; we must accept people as human beings, regardless of anything.”
But then, added that “without equality, access to resources, financial support for small businesses (and) the support to be able to improve the economic status of the individual…racism will continue.
I think presently we will not be able to start a discussion on how do we eradicate racism until we have eradicated poverty and until we have ensured that there is equal access to resources,” the ANC Treasurer opined.