Black Business Council adds support to Dis-Chem CEO’s moratorium on white employment

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The Black Business Council (BBC) voiced its support for the Dis-Chem CEO Ivan Saltzman’s recent utterances on the pharmaceutical retailer’s recruitment and promotion of certain racial groups.

The support by the BBC comes after a leaked document revealed that Saltzman requested that managers improve the company’s employment equity profile and effect transformation.

The JSE-listed firm issued a moratorium in September on the exclusion of white people in its external and internal hiring processes.

Lobby group, AfriForum, and trade union Solidarity have called for further dialogue on whether Dis-Chem is abiding by the Employment Equity Act.

Trade union Solidarity and BBC on the issue:

Black Business Council CEO Kganki Matabane says, “We are supporting the CEO and I think the CEO must ignore the noise and continue with what he is doing. The CEO of Dis-Chem is not saying we are going to fire all white people and hire black people. He is not saying white people must not be there.”

“Even the BEE Act does not say white people must not be in the economy. What we are saying is the economy’s management and control must reflect the demographics of SA so that it includes everyone. So, the argument that employment equity is excluding any race does not make sense,” says Matabane.

Campaigns officer for strategy at AfriForum Ernst van Zyl says, “People can use any type of framing or call it all these beautiful words at the end of the day it is racial discrimination. If those people say that it is fine and those justify it, those must admit they are pro-racial discrimination, and we can actually have an open discussion.

“But a lot of people are dancing around the issue. They use the justification of calling it all these nice things but in the end, it is racial discrimination by telling people they are not going to get a job or promotion based on their skin colour and that is why AfriForum is against it,” says Van Zyl.

Van Zyl speaks to SAfm’s First Take: