Khoi,San Communities Cry Foul

Johannesburg – Some members of the Khoi, San and coloured communities are missing out on work and study opportunities because they are not “black enough”, the National Khoi and San Council said on Thursday.

“Some people are telling us that when they apply for jobs, for bursaries, they’ve been told: ‘You are not black enough. You are not black-black basically’,” John van Rooyen, a member of the council, told reporters in Johannesburg.

Van Rooyen and other representatives of the coloured community across the country had a meeting in Johannesburg with ANC national executive committee members to discuss the issues affecting their communities.

ANC Secretary General Gwede Mantashe, Science and Technology Minister Naledi Pandor, Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga and Co-operative Governance Minister Pravin Gordhan attended the meeting.

A number of issues were raised, including better access to education, access to Reconstruction and Development Programme housing, the acknowledgement by government of the Khoi and San as the first settlers in the country, better access to economic opportunities and violence associated with coloured communities.

Van Rooyen said, although the policies set out by government were inclusive, implementation was a problem.

“[We] need to form part of broad-based black economic empowerment and employment equity… the legislation deals with it, but when it comes to implementation, you find that… it is the officials that are not monitored or watched properly to effect the policy,” he said.

Van Rooyen said at some levels discriminatory practices take place. “Hence… why we are saying we are marginalised.”

Mantashe told Van Rooyen that in some instances, coloured people marginalised themselves by not wanting to classify themselves as black.

“Sometimes you get marginalised and sometimes you marginalise yourself. If you see a column written ‘Black’ you don’t want to be black. That is marginalising yourself, while in the [broader] definition we are all black.”