'Review BEE, affirmative action'

Anna Majavu

Anna Majavu

Black economic empowerment and affirmative action policies "discourage the 'can do' attitude" and should be reviewed.

So says the Congress of the People (Cope) in its draft policy document unveiled at different conferences across the country on Saturday.

Cope says: "It is paramount to promote an entrepreneurial culture that combines . a feel for the world of business and new ideas and the personal desire to create one's work rather than to seek formal work.

"It is therefore important that programmes which discourage the 'can do' attitude such as affirmative action and black economic empowerment (BEE) be reviewed."

But Cope's policy head Philip Dexter says his yet-to-be launched party has no plans to end BEE or affirmative action.

"We are not saying they must be stopped, but BEE cannot keep affirming the same people over and over again. There must be a cut-off date after which people are no longer eligible for support," he told Sowetan.

Dexter said that affirmative action has become a "policy of exclusion rather than inclusion". He said Cope viewed affirmative action as "something far broader than putting black people in management positions".

"We are looking at giving special attention to people from the rural areas and giving people the skills and empowering them to take those jobs," he said.

If elected, Cope will also radically depart from government's policies on crime, land restitution and foreign affairs, he said.

Not only will Cope bring back the soon-to-be-disbanded Scorpions, but will "extend the system of pairing prosecutors with investigators across all levels of the justice system," said Dexter.