IFP calls for whites to be given a stake in ensuring the success of the new South Africa

Chief Mangosuthu Buthelezi in Ulundi. 
Pic: Jackie Clausen. 
13/8/03. 
© ST.
Chief Mangosuthu Buthelezi in Ulundi. Pic: Jackie Clausen. 13/8/03. © ST.

The government's reckless implementation of affirmative action was forcing many whites to leave the country, creating a skills-shortage crisis, IFP leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi said yesterday.

The government's reckless implementation of affirmative action was forcing many whites to leave the country, creating a skills-shortage crisis, IFP leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi said yesterday.

Writing in his weekly newsletter, Buthelezi said whites should be offered incentives to stay in the country.

"We need to grant white South Africans a meaningful stake in the existing order. Not only does this make economic sense, it is also in line with our vision of a non-racial South Africa," he said.

Most white people supported the National Party's referendum calling for an end to apartheid because they believed they would have a place in the new South Africa, Buthelezi said.

"If the majority of white South Africans had envisaged in the early 1990s the way affirmative action and racial classification would come to dominate the post-apartheid labour market, few would have voted 'yes' in FW de Klerk's watershed referendum on constitutional reform," he said.

The IFP, Buthelezi said, would propose a forum to explore ways of keeping whites in the country.

"My party proposes to hold a widely representative forum to look at why so many whites have left, what can be done to keep them and [how we can] encourage those who have left to come back," he said.

Buthelezi criticised the government's expanded public works programme, saying it had failed to create jobs.

"The IFP has consistently pointed out the [programme] can never be an unemployment panacea because it is not part of an open labour market and most of the working jobs created last for only as long as the infrastructural programme that has prompted them.

"What South Africa needs is an open labour market," he said. - Sapa

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