Race-based policies of redress are a prominent feature of our society. The need for redress is undisputed, but do we have the right policies?
South Africa’s realities include extremely high rates of unemployment – close to 40 per cent in general, and over 60 per cent in the 18-30 age group.
We need to ask whether policies of redress are impacting negatively on the imperative to accelerate the rate of economic growth, which is an essential pre-condition for improving the social and economic circumstances of the bulk of the population?
Democracy needs strong institutions, a free press, an independent judiciary, and observance of the rule of law. It also needs opportunities for citizens to engage with one another, to learn from each other’s experiences and perspectives, and to disagree – but also to discover that they sometimes have more in common than they suspected.
South Africa will not become the country it could and should aspire to be if we cannot communicate and speak honestly about race, growth and development.