New Racial Requirements Unveiled for Water

New Racial Requirements Unveiled for Water

( – South Africa has a long history of racial injustice. From 1948 to 1994, the African nation dealt with Apartheid. That was a system of institutionalized racial segregation. Nearly 30 years after the system was dissolved, the country could be dealing with another form of racial injustice; this time, it’s related to their water system.

Water Requirements

The African National Congress (ANC), which rules the country, published draft water regulations that call for the resource to be divided among the people based on their race. The proposal requires all people who are applying for consumptive water use to allocate shares to black people by taking their land size into account.

Additionally, business owners who want to increase their water consumption will have to have a larger share of black ownership. According to the announcement, the new regulations are meant “to address the disparities in access to water use from Apartheid.”

Business owners that want to use more than 250,000 cubic meters of water must have at least 25% of black ownership. If they want more than 500,000 cubic meters, they will need to have 50%. Finally, businesses that need more than a million cubic meters of water require up to 75% of black ownership.

President Cyril Ramaphosa is reportedly trying to make the changes in order to redress the country’s history of segregation and racial injustices.

Opposition Pushes Back

John Steenhuisen, the opposition leader who heads the Democratic Alliance, spoke out against the proposal. He accused Ramaphosa of “reintroducing racial discrimination across” the country. He said it was the worst the nation had seen since apartheid.

Steenhuisen also warned about a devastating impact on the farming industry for those unable to meet the racial quotas. He said that cattle would start dying in the fields from dehydration just because the farm owner wasn’t the right race. That will lead to massive layoffs nationwide while the mining and agricultural industries die.

Racial Employment Law

The water rules came a month after Ramaphosa signed the Employment Equity Amendment Act of 2022, an amendment to a 1998 employment law. The new measure promotes equality and diversity in the workplace. The new law prohibits discrimination based on

  • gender
  • race
  • marital status
  • pregnancy
  • ethnic or social origin
  • family responsibility
  • age
  • sexual orientation
  • color
  • religion
  • disability
  • HIV status
  • birth
  • language
  • political opinion

The law requires the government to set up racial quotas across 18 sectors. The only ones not impacted by the legislation are the South African Secret Services, the South African National Defence Force, and National Intelligence Agency.

The Minister of Employment and Labour is going to work with the Employment Equity Commission to set the quotas for each industry.

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