It aims at making the workplace of South Africa ore representative and fair and to give the previously disadvantaged a chance to get jobs, be educated and have equal opportunities. The previously disadvantaged individuals (Pad’s) are black people, colored people, and Indians, as well as Women and people with disabilities. Because of South Africans history, these groups have been under-represented but now with Affirmative action (which falls under the Employment Equity Act) in place, they are given the opportunities and equality that they deserve in all categories and levels of the workplace.
Manage. Co. AZ, 2013) have first hand experience of the debate that affirmative action can cause between students, friends, families, or any other South African who wishes to discuss the topic as there are many different views as well as many different pro’s and con’s to the law we now have to abide by. To start off a typical discussion we can first look at the pros of affirmative action alone.
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One of the greatest factors is the fact that previously disadvantaged students and workers now get the chance to succeed where without affirmative action they loud not have been given the opportunity to do so, it is a ‘boost’ to succeed. There are many individuals out there that have the talent or ability to do great things but have never had the means or financing to fulfill these talents, and affirmative action gives them that chance. You cannot just eliminate discrimination.
Secondly, affirmative action creates diversity, and with diversity brings a variety of benefits to the workforce, for example; 1) a better reputation for social responsibility, 2) greater creativity, innovation and problem solving, 3) enhanced organization flexibility, 4) acquiring greater insight into a diverse market place and 5) attracting, retaining and motivating employees. (Anemia and Bennett, 2006: 305) Another positive given to affirmative action is that special preference is given to minorities to make up for the many years of discrimination and the suffering of inequity and unemployment.
It is also needed to break stereotypes and to combat racism. (Documenting, n. D) I believe that all these positives are a great way to move forward and to give the POI’s an opportunity they once never had, but to tie these positives with there realistic factors, there are a lot of things that I believe are unfair and have a negative effect on our country and economy. Now looking at other aspects we find that affirmative action has developed several negative and inappropriate connotations. One of the biggest cons of affirmative action is that it may create reverse discrimination.
For example, a white man or a group of white people that didn’t get a job because of their skin color may start to despise the black man or black group of people that got it in place of them because of their skin color. Over time, when a tuition like this happens to a few hundred people, it can result in many more people becoming racist whereas they weren’t before, which is not helping our country move forward from the main reason it became a democracy. Another negative is that our country and its societies cannot become truly “color-blind’ until they stop making decisions based on race.
To give the minorities an opportunity is a wonderful thing, but not when it is at the expense of another innocent and qualified person’s right to a job ?? surely that is creating discrimination all over again and the cycle will keep going round. From a Pad’s point of view, it may also be belittling to them to say that they need affirmative action to succeed, and may also stigmatize them as their colleagues assumed that they got the job because of their status or race which may place an unfair burden on them. (Debates, n. D. This is a case of a negative factor coming from someone who is supposed to be benefiting from affirmative action. Another negative connotation is the stigma of quota’s, which creates the impression that there are no more job opportunities for white men in South Africa. This may then lead to companies hiring unqualified people just to make up for the numbers, which they then will be lacking. Because of this, a minority may take the place of someone more qualified or suitable for a job or school, simply because of their race or gender.
Looking at other countries that have practiced affirmative action, there are many that have caused more damage than good, such as the LISA. (Documenting, n. D) After taking a look at the positives and negatives of affirmative action, it may be obvious that to the one group of people – the previously disadvantaged individuals ?? the law of affirmative action is a great and powerful tool of raising equality, diversity and the quality of lives of many people, and on the other hand, the younger white South Africans will pull out all the negatives and find it unfair.
Taking into consideration both the positive and negative connotations, the situation on the whole can be more neutrally discussed. I personally believe that affirmative action is a powerful tool for our country to a certain extent. I believe it to be fair that Pad’s deserve the right to the opportunities they previously never had, because just like all human beings they might have the talent, ability and brains to turn themselves and our country into great and new exciting things.
However, don’t think that it should be at the expense of another’s opportunity to study or get a job. The main question arises, why should a qualified young male suffer unemployment because of something generations before did? Surely that is recreating apartheid with the white race? Doesn’t our country need the best and most qualified people to be able to compete with the global market? There are hundreds of unanswered questions, ones that our country should be working on to solve.
Perhaps affirmative action can be in place to an extent that Pad’s are still given opportunities amongst the people that are qualified and suitable for jobs, teams or universities, it may mean that the numbers of institutions increase, but at least the country wont be losing its most intelligent and top doctors, vets, businessmen and entrepreneurs because they have to study or work abroad because someone of color has taken their job. South Africa needs the best of everything and everyone in our entry if it has intentions of continuing to compete on an international level and to build a strong economy.