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'Whites not truly welcome'

Jul 13 2012 18:04 Sapa

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Cape Town - White people are alienated from the public service due to the government's policy of absolute representation on the basis of race, said trade union Solidarity.

This hampers the appointment and promotion possibilities for whites in the public service.

The union's comments follow the call by Nkosinathi Nhleko, the director general of the department of labour, to young white people to pursue a career in the public service.

According to Dirk Groenewald, head of Solidarity's department of labour court Law, this invitation shows that the government's stance on affirmative action differs from day to day.

"The trade union's more than 25 affirmative action cases against institutions such as the South African Police Service and the department of corrective services show that the government's invitation to white youth to work in the public service contradicts what happens at state and semi-state institutions in practice," he said.

The government's previous statements on affirmative action have already alienated white people and offer a strong contrast with Nhleko's statements, said Groenewald.

"The state has lost its credibility as an employer where a white person can build a career," he said.

Groenewald said that if the government wants to draw young white people to the public service, they will have to do more than merely extend an invitation.

"The government should rather start revising its irrational affirmative action goals as well as its application."

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