Political Blogs - Blog Catalog Blog Directory

Monday, 23 February 2009

Many black employees are political appointees

The Mail & Guardian reports that 28% of all South African municipal employees nationally, and as many as 70% in the Mpumalanga province, are appointed in posts that are not reflected in the organization structures of the local authorities.

In other words, they are political appointments. They are not there because of their qualifications or experience, but because they know the right people and, very importantly, because they are black. With a few rare exceptions, such as the monumentally incompetent Mike Sutcliffe, you can be very sure that these are black appointees. Politics in South Africa is to a high degree of accuracy split along racial lines. If you are a white, you won't belong to the ruling ANC regime, and vice versa.

This type of cronyism should surprise nobody. This is Africa, after all. What the Mail & Guardian article does not point out, however, is that this sorry state of affairs taints the entire South African workplace, and not only local authorities. A very large proportion of blacks in all posts, public and private sector, have been appointed in terms of the racist policy known as affirmative action.

Affirmative action represents the very worst kind of political discrimination, akin to apartheid, in terms of which a white minority is systematically targeted and excluded in favour of those who are often less qualified and experienced, but who possess the correct skin colour.

This practice haunts all black employees, especially those in managerial and professional positions. A large percentage of them can never be sure that they would have obtained their positions were it not for affirmative action. People who deal with such people in the corporate environment will forever be asking themselves whether they are dealing with a person who is capable of real decision making, or even capable of really doing their jobs, instead of being a token employee with a dark skin.

One can only speculate about the psychological impact this must have on a black person who is appointed as a manager, for example. Does such a person not experience constant and nagging self-doubt? Jimmy Manyi is a prime example of somebody who in my opinion has a giant chip on his shoulder, no doubt because of his feelings of inferiority which could have resulted from his being appointed on the basis of his skin colour.

Political appointments, in short, taint the entire South African workplace.

blog comments powered by Disqus
free counters Afrigator