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How Big Daddy Liberty Contradicts Himself on Affirmative Action and BEE

Sihle Ngobese (or 'Big Daddy Liberty' as he calls himself) is a podcaster who describes himself as a classical liberal. Until October 2020, he was Head of Strategic Information at the South African Institute of Race Relations (IRR). He currently hosts the Big Daddy Liberty Show on YouTube.

Former IRR lobbyist Sihle Ngobese is blatantly hypocritical when it comes to racial issues.

One example of this was his reaction in a Facebook post on 26 December, 2020 to an auction scheduled for March, 2021, where only black South Africans will be permitted to bid.

See Ngobese's original Facebook post here. The eThwekwini Municipality stated that they were going to exclude white, Indian and so-called coloured South Africans from their upcoming auction, in an attempt to allow black people access after cartels had prevented this at previous auctions. Sihle, who not long before this had vehemently defended the whites-only matric ball held at Brackenfell High School in the Western Cape, was suddenly very critical of a "Blacks-only" auction!

According to an IOL news report, ‘Krish Kumar, the chief financial officer at eThekwini, said: “We (the city) made it clear to exco. The head of SCM (supply chain management) made it very clear that we will be following clearly the actual principles outlined in the PFA (Public Finance Management Act) and the BEE (Black Economic Empowerment) code. ‘"So, whoever is classified, including females and the disadvantaged, we will ensure that they are party to the auction." He said in the past, cartels emerged and used their resources to preclude individuals from participating.’

Auctions are generally known to only be accessible to certain connected people. In many cities, these are often white people. If a certain race had prime access to say a thousand auctions, how can excluding them from the next one be considered "racism"? That is why affirmative action (AA) and BEE are promoted in our Constitution – it's the only way to bring about true equality, by giving exclusive opportunities to those who have been previously denied them.

What is more hypocritical is how Big Daddy Liberty ends his rant by claiming empowerment policy should focus on CURRENT DISADVANTAGE.

So Sihle, where is the CURRENT DISADVANTAGE?

Isn't it among black households who according to Stats SA still earn over 3 times more less than the average white household? Or the fact that black unemployment is still 3 times higher than white unemployment?

According to Stats SA’s 2019 report looking at Inequality Trends in South Africa, statistically only 1% of white people live in poverty, or just 0.0026% of South Africa's poor. Compare that with 47% of black people who make up over 90% of South Africa's poor. Wouldn't focusing on empowerment where there's CURRENT DISADVANTAGE mean prioritising the group making up 90% of the poor?

As explained in a BBC article, most of the wealth in South Africa is still owned and controlled by white South Africans. Statistics cited in the article show that only 3% of the firms listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange are black-controlled.

This disadvantage isn't a coincidence. It's the product of an exclusive policy of wealth deprivation that was used during apartheid to keep millions of black people in poverty. This racialisation of poverty and economic opportunity was deliberately designed to endure, even after the political and legislative structures of apartheid have been dismantled.

We have said this before: The people who always complain that "everything is about race" are the people who are most obsessed with preserving South Africa’s racial inequality.

If puppets of the DA and the IRR like Sihle Ngobese were truly committed to “liberty” and focused on empowering those CURRENTLY DISADVANTAGED, they would be pro-BEE and pro-AA. Instead, the IRR and the DA use him to downplay this continued racial inequality, to keep their white, privileged followers in blissful ignorance.

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