Colour-coded so­ci­ety

Finweek English Edition - - Letters - CLIVE M KIH

Jo­hann Redel­inghuys writes in “Blacks and the board­room” (22 Fe­bru­ary) that “... board ap­point­ments aren’t just a num­bers game or a colour cod­ing ex­er­cise ...”

Un­for­tu­nately that’s pre­cisely what the en­tire trans­for­ma­tion ex­er­cise has de­gen­er­ated into – and not only in re­spect of board­rooms. At all three lev­els of Gov­ern­ment, in com­pany man­age­ment struc­tures, in the civil ser­vice, on the fac­tory floor, in pro­cure­ment, in the is­su­ing of min­ing/prospect­ing rights and, not least, in the com­po­si­tion of our sports teams, the num­bers game is be­ing ap­plied in­dis­crim­i­nately – no pun in­tended – re­gard­less of the con­se­quences.

Who can deny, for ex­am­ple, that our squad for the up­com­ing cricket World Cup would have been stronger had the CEO of Cricket SA not promised his po­lit­i­cal masters that at least seven “play­ers of colour” would be se­lected. The same sce­nario will un­doubt­edly play it­self out be­fore the rugby World Cup later this year.

Un­til this num­bers game ceases and we be­come a mer­i­toc­racy, we’ll con­tinue to per­form be­low our po­ten­tial in all as­pects of our na­tional life.

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