Ask the Doctor – Web Apr 1 – What is to stop me discriminating against my workforce?
Barry Terblanche writes : “This question wont make me popular but my business has experienced a 42% downturn in turnover because of power cuts and my staff parade around and gloat that as a White Afrikaaner I am getting what I deserve. They remind me that they voted Zuma back into power and have given him the authority to rule. I would honestly like to make staff show their political party membership cards if they want to be employed by me and refuse to employ anyone voting for the ANC or the EFF. My friends say I am a fool for even suggesting this. What do you think? “
Barry, I don’t think you are a fool but you know that you will get into all sorts of trouble should you discriminate against staff on the basis of their political affiliation. Our Constitution and Labour Laws guarantee people the right to “Freedom of Association”.
Is it right that 60% of people in this country, and yes I don’t mind agreeing with you and saying that the majority of those have to be Black, voted for the ANC and hence have given the ANC license to get us into this mess we are in, blame it on Apartheid and create a racist encampment around all White SA Citizens. But if you were to hold your staff responsible for who our Government is, all sorts of hell would reign down on you, mostly funnily enough emanating from a legislative framework prepared and written by White people.
Is it right that the EFF have via it’s leadership gone on record and said that Whites are the devil and responsible for the evils of this country? Yes. In-fact the most recent occasion that this happened was the day after the 2015 SONA at a Press Conference addressed by Juius Malema. Does this mean that you have a case against self-declared EFF supporters amongst your staff? Morally very definitely, however legally you don’t have a leg to stand on.
Would it make any difference Barry if as staff left your employ you replaced them with White Afrikaans people? The answer if you are an SME is Yes. However if you depend on any business or rely on a supply chain from any business which is caught up in the BBBEE net, then you are actively destroying any chance your business has of surviving if you were to take this course of action.
Over the past six months a national debate on racism has emerged, a fire stoked regularly by Government Ministers and people like Juilius, as they seek to rally supporters behind the only cause left to them, seeing that they have destroyed the economy and any hope of SA playing any part whatsoever in the Global Marketplace. While the success of the Race Card will be short-lived, politicians will during that short stay be able to filtch even more out of the system than they already have.
However Barry, as a White Afrikaaner you are in no position to do anything other than keep your head down and hope that they leave you and your family alone long enough to wind up your company, wind up your personal affairs and die a peaceful death in your own bed, in your own home.
Or, is that the only thing left for you to do?
Barry, I cannot advise you on that. Only your conscience can.