IFP chief criticises empowerment process

Canaan Mdletshe

Canaan Mdletshe

IFP leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi wants the benefits of broad-based black economic empowerment to be extended to Indians and coloureds.

Buthelezi also cautioned against "affirming" women into management positions by way of gender-based affirmative action.

Speaking in Ulundi this weekend at the 30th conference of the party's Women's Brigade, Buthelezi said that Indians and coloureds should also benefit from the government's policy to balance the economy.

"We have never opposed BEE but we have cautioned it should not discriminate against other previously disadvantaged race groups, such as Indians and coloureds. They are supposed to fall under the term 'black' as well, yet they are now complaining that they are suddenly not black enough," he said.

Buthelezi also said it was insulting to women to promote them on the basis of gender.

"In South Africa, women only earn 70percent of what men earn. This already puts them at a disadvantage for attaining self-reliance," Buthelezi said.

"It is an insult to our women to affirm them for the sake of it, without any regard to merit," said Buthelezi.

He called for gender stereotypes to be jettisoned and "inculcating a different perspective of the role of women as equals".

The eThekwini councillor Thembi Nzuza, an IFP member, was overwhelmingly voted in as the brigade's new chairman.

She is one of the most vocal vocal councillors.

Nzuza said she was looking forward to confronting issues such as eradicating poverty, fighting HIV and Aids, and crime and corruption.