Use ev­i­dence in­stead of as­sump­tion

Financial Mail - - YOU SAID... - Gavin Davis, MP Cape Town

The ar­ti­cle “A Wide River to Cross” (Fea­tures, Au­gust 9-15) as­sumes that the DA’S pro­posal for an al­ter­na­tive em­pow­er­ment pol­icy based on dis­ad­van­tage will cost the party votes. How­ever, sur­vey data shows sig­nif­i­cant dis­sat­is­fac­tion with the cur­rent race-based model of BEE.

Ac­cord­ing to a Mark­data poll, just 13.1% of South Africans be­lieve BEE has helped them per­son­ally, while an In­sti­tute for Jus­tice & Rec­on­cil­i­a­tion sur­vey has found that fewer than half (48.6%) of re­spon­dents think BEE has en­sured black par­tic­i­pa­tion in the econ­omy. In the same sur­vey, fewer than half

(49.2%) of re­spon­dents be­lieve race cat­e­gories should be used to mea­sure progress.

Last week, when the DA’S al­ter­na­tive stance to BEE was in the news, the party won the Ward 3 by-elec­tion in the Wal­ter Sisulu mu­nic­i­pal­ity in the Eastern Cape. The DA’S sup­port grew from 39.9% to 50.7%, while the ANC’S de­clined from 53.2% to 38.5%.

There is an im­por­tant dis­cus­sion to be had on how best to re­dress the in­equities of apartheid and gen­uinely em­power dis­ad­van­taged South Africans, most of whom are black.

Let’s use ev­i­dence in­stead of as­sump­tion as the ba­sis for this de­bate.

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