Yahoo! News, June 6, 2014
South Africa’s policy of race-based affirmative action is “killing babies” and must be scrapped, the country’s Institute of Race Relations said Friday.
The institute, which spoke out against racial discrimination under apartheid, said black empowerment policies had seen unqualified people appointed to positions where their incompetence hit poor and vulnerable communities.
It pointed to the deaths of three babies aged between seven and 13 months in Bloemhof in North West province this week, apparently caused by drinking contaminated tap water. Scores of others were also hospitalised.
“The Bloemhof municipality ‘lost its capacity’ to maintain the sewer plant,” the independent think-tank said in a statement quoting its Chief Executive Frans Cronje that accompanied its paper entitled “Killing Babies”.
“There is no doubt that the officials responsible for these deaths were appointed, at least in part, on grounds of race-based affirmative action and that a direct causal link therefore exists between the policy and the deaths.”
Cronje said that in all the commentary on the deaths there was no mention of affirmative action, because that would “cross the barrier of political correctness forced on our country by the ideology of race-based empowerment”.