Nations throughout the world are confronting issues raised as societies attempt to overcome histories of racism by creating a new system in which people formerly oppressed now assume leadership positions. South Africans are attempting to overturn hundreds of years in which black skinned people were treated as inferior. Staff in the Department of Western Cape Premier Ebrahim Rasool are angry at what they term a “dismissive” attitude to their concerns about “systematic racism.” A formal complaint has been lodged which claims managers treat those of African heritage as inferior and insist the only reason they hold current positions is due to affirmative action programs.
An investigation was undertaken by the Rasool under the direction of Virginia Petersen who essentially dismissed the complaints. She says “people come to the West Cape and they find it is so different from where they came from.” Ms. Petersen’s conclusion is that African leave because they receive “better offers” elsewhere.
Affirmative action programs invariably encounter these complaints as people formerly viewed as inferior assume roles of responsibilities. The history of government is highly characterized by incredible success on the part of those who govern, but, for some reason individuals hired through affirmative action do not reach the levels of incompetence that characterizes modern government.