chinese not black

Vusi Ndlovu

Vusi Ndlovu

They are not black, they will never be black, the government must go to China with them!

These were the reactions of Sowetans to the Pretoria high court ruling which on Wednesday declared that South Africans of Chinese origin can now be classified as black.

People in the township did not mince their words in expressing how appalled they were by Judge Cynthia Pretorius' ruling that South African Chinese can now benefit from black economic empowerment because they fell within the definition of black people in the Constitution.

Lucky Showens of Freedom Park said the government preferred foreigners to local people.

"People in government must go to China with these Chinese. They do everything for foreigners. You go to town [Johannesburg] and you find places such as China City while we have nothing here," he said.

Pule Mutheiwani said: "Chinese came here to work. How can they be South Africans? In China you will not be granted citizenship. This is a free-for-all kind of situation."

Jacob Motsoane of Protea said: "What were these people classified as before? If you go to the corporate world, they are up there."

Sonia Mohatlane said: "They are not black and they will never be black. The ruling was unfair. We black Africans have not benefited from BEE, now they add Chinese."

Sindiswa Moyane of Eldorado Park said: "Blacks have been disadvantaged all the years. The BEE slice is not big enough for black people. If they add Chinese people, the slice will become even thinner. Why don't they go back to China? I really don't believe these people are black."

But Ray Hoon, a Chinese man working in Eldorado Park, welcomed the ruling.

"I have been following the court case very closely and I am pleased with the ruling.

"I was born in this country but there was a time I could not even buy a house unless I had a special permit. I don't mind being classified black because race does not matter to me," Hoon said.