Cabinet spokesperson Phumla Williams said in a statement on Thursday that “cabinet considers the advertisement profoundly offensive and racist”. Cabinet held a virtual meeting on Wednesday.
“Black hair has been the subject of intense politicisation and a source of unjust discrimination in our recent history. Our nation’s history is littered with laws and societal norms that equated ‘blackness’ and the associated physical traits – for example, dark skin, kinky and curly hair – to a badge of inferiority,” said Williams.
“We therefore welcome the immediate corrective actions taken by Clicks. These include their commitment to work with government to promote local products in all their stores and to collaborate with all their suppliers to promote the constitutional values as enshrined in the constitution of the Republic of South Africa of 1996. They will also put in place a diversity and inclusion training programme for all their managers and staff,” government added.
Cabinet called on Clicks and other stores to adopt programmes that promote human rights and raise awareness on racism, inequality and discrimination.