Excluding refugees from the right to work as private security providers simply because they are refugees will inevitably foster a climate of xenophobia which will be harmful to refugees and inconsistent with the overall vision of our Constitution. As a group that is by definition vulnerable, the impact of discrimination of this sort can be damaging in a significant way. In reaching this conclusion it is important to bear in mind that it is not only the social stigma which may result from such discrimination, but also the material impact that it may have on refugees.
For some strange reason or another Heritage Day (which we celebrate tomorrow) has turned into national braai day. Maybe it is because South Africans often do not remember the same past and find it difficult to imagine a shared heritage. Some sing that song while others dream of life in England (or, these days, Perth).
Maybe one day, when more white South Africans become capable of imagining the lives and histories of their fellow South Africans who happen not to be white, we will be able to begin to imagine a shared heritage. But this will only happen when more white South Africans realise that their assumption that the world they inhabit is the only legitimate world, that the world they take for granted is the norm to which others must adopt, and that their views and culture are normative and natural, are quite problematic.
In any case, I though the cartoon by Jeremy Nel in The New Age today was quite funny. Happy Heritage Day.BACK TO TOP