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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Affirmative Action in South Africa: A Genuine Option?
Author:Maphai, Vincent T.
Periodical:Social Dynamics
Geographic term:South Africa
Subjects:labour recruitment
women's employment
Politics and Government
Ethnic and Race Relations
Law, Human Rights and Violence
External link:https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/02533958908458471
Abstract:This paper discusses the application of affirmative action in South Africa in a particular area, namely when disadvantaged people, here blacks and women, are given preferential access to certain positions at work. The article first examines the American legacy, the concept of affirmative action finding its roots in the United States. Then follows a comparative survey of affirmative action in the United States and in South Africa which shows that affirmative action is not a genuine option in the South African system of institutionalized racism: it is impossible for a society unwilling to give blacks equal opportunity to be ready nevertheless to offer them preferential treatment against whites. Still, in a few limited cases, affirmative action can be initiated, notably when the focus is on black advancement. The author continues by examining two objections against affirmative action. The first objection, which is refuted by the author, is that by discriminating against whites in favour of blacks, affirmative action is as immoral as apartheid itself. The second objection, which is affirmed, is that in practice affirmative action is often counter-productive. Bibliogr., sum.