With less than eight months to the next elections, perceived economic exclusion and marginalisation of the so-called coloured communities has been thrust into the spotlight.
In Gauteng, these communities have called for a total shutdown, accusing the government of neglecting them. They have also denounced some policies like Affirmative Action and Black Economic Empowerment as government tools to isolate them.
Having endured the brutality of apartheid like many other black people, almost 25 years into the new dispensation the coloured communities say their plight is not going away.
They say government doesn’t care about rampant crime in their areas. These communities have also decried government’s empowerment schemes, saying policies like BEE and Employment Equity have excluded them from the broader society.
DA leader in Gauteng, John Moody, who also grew up in Westbury, says the neglect of coloured communities is more prevalent today than before 1994.
The EFF has weighed in, saying black people have endured serious marginalisation under the ANC government.
But John Moody has warned against politicising the plight of their communities, insisting that he hopes South Africans don’t find themselves in an ‘us-and-them’ situation.
ANC Spokesperson, Pule Mabe, on the other hand, denies the exclusion of coloured communities, saying all empowerment policies are meant to redress the imbalances of the past.
Mabe has also echoed the DA’s sentiments, discouraging politicians from whipping up the emotions of angry communities.
Meanwhile, organisers of the Gauteng shutdown have vowed to continue with their action if their demands are not met.