Mar 31, 2010

Afrikaner: President Zuma promises to help poor white communities in South Africa.

Sample ImageThe nearly 500,000 white South Africans living under the poverty line call on the President not to exclude them from empowerment programmes, and to shift the focus of these from ‘race’ to ‘people’
Below is an article published by the president made a follow-up visit to the impoverished Bethlehem informal settlement, west of Pretoria.But the gathering soon turned into an anti-affirmation meeting, with about 1000 residents, led by Solidarity Helping Hand chairman Dirk Hermann, chanting: "Mr President, here we are. We can't be ignored!"Residents told Zuma how affirmative action was affecting the poor white community.It is estimated that at least 450,000 white South Africans are living below the poverty line and that their plight is worsening every year."Mr Zuma, there is no moral justification for excluding these [white] people from empowerment programmes. We are asking you, on behalf of this community, to shift the focus of black empowerment from race to people's socio-economic position," Herman said to loud cheers from the community.Zuma promised the community that the matter would be looked into, but gave no specifics."We need to clarify affirmative action. Whatever we do ... there is nothing we should do to create an impression that we are excluding people. Everything we do must not exclude," he said to the cheering crowd." If there is a perception of exclusion, then we must correct it."Zuma, who described his third visit to the area since 2008 as the most "serious", assured the community that the government "would not rest" until there was development in the area."This to me is a very serious visit than the two previous visits. I believe things will happen when I come back again. This is a different visit. Now I have come with the government, the ministers, the MECs and the entire Gauteng Cabinet is here," he said.Daniel Langner, read a letter to Zuma on behalf of the residents, reminding him of his first visit in 2008.