The pigment premium
I WAS VERY impressed with something that appeared in Finweek, (1 February). I agree with the economic principle of supply and demand. That’s the way the system works. There’s mention of hostility between colleagues who do the same work but get different salaries. I feel that the word used is wrong. Dissatisfaction, yes.
This situation occurs especially when an inexperienced black is appointed from outside. His white colleague then has to teach him/her how the company’s systems work for a few months and there’s a difference in salary. The person involved therefore doesn’t see why he should teach his/her colleague, because of the unequal remuneration.
Let me state clearly that this is not my view, but it’s the general feeling of people who I come into contact with every day.
I would like every person to receive a good salary for the work he/she does productively and with dedication.
A last question: When are we going to start reading columns that don’t refer to the former regime or to apartheid, or do we have to wait until the present generation is dead and buried? a certain position. The absence of this is a cause for concern and could threaten existing recruitment policies. The article spins a web of contradictions with the “apartheid regime” being given another stab by Jekwa for “ensuring that very few blacks had a “decent education” and consequently this standard of “inferior education” is still being perpetuated in township and rural schools. Even after a decade of democracy and with a black Minister at the helm of Education, the failure of education to reach “higher standards” is still blamed on apartheid.
As an Indian, but “for the purpose of the column” as expressed by Jekwa, I’m referred to as “black”, a generalisation that’s hardly representative of the reality of the present state of affairs. People might “huddle” under the umbrella of being called “black” if this benefits them, but my specific race classification comes to the fore when I enter the stage of economics, politics and on a social level. If this were not so, there wouldn’t be race quotas implemented in the workplace to redress the inequalities of the past and allow “affirmative action” to assume its rightful place. Are my skills or my qualifications for a “professional position” with a “marginally higher salary than my white counterparts” even a consideration, if I’m not demographically suited in terms of the requirements of the employer? Ethically, my application should be judged on merit, and mere tokenism will confirm that the current system is nothing more than “apartheid in reverse” – but for the sake of the column “we shall call it Democracy in South Africa”.