/DA stands firm on race ahead of policy conference

DA stands firm on race ahead of policy conference

The DA’s head of policy Gwen Ngwenya says the party’s policy document – ahead of its conference in April – was a point of departure for the rest of the party’s policy positions.

The DA released its first of three draft policy documents ahead of its conference at a briefing at the DA’s headquarters at Nkululeko House in Johannesburg on Monday.

Ngwenya said the document would provide a guideline document which party members could use to measure themselves.

She added that the party had circulated the document to its members to debate and firm up.

Some of the topics contained in the document include diversity, non-racialism and redress.

Race, gender quota

The DA has in the past been criticised for its policy stance on race and redress. In his resignation speech from the party in 2019, former Johannesburg mayor Herman Mashaba said he could not reconcile with a group who believed race was irrelevant in the discussion of inequality and poverty in South Africa.

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“I cannot reconcile myself with people who do not see that South Africa is more unequal today than it was in 1994,” said Mashaba.

The draft document on diversity presented by Ngwenya on Monday stated that the DA opposed race and gender as a quota.

The DA's head of policy, Gwen Ngwenya said the par

Ngwenya then added that non-racialism was a rejection of race as a way to categorise and treat people, particularly in legislation. 

The DA draft document also stated that the assumption that race represented a set of peoples’ experiences was false, adding that while race did not exist, racialism existed and produced profound damage in people’s lives.

“A great deal of harm was caused and continues to be caused on the basis of false beliefs in racial difference. Non-racialism is therefore a commitment not just to reject racialism and racism but to fight for the deconstruction of race and the reconstruction of a non-racial future.”

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