The Gauteng Provincial Legislature’s Portfolio Committee on Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs (CoGTA), has condemned the discrimination and harassment of a man dressed in IsiNdebele traditional attire, by the Centre Manager of Boulders Shopping Centre.
In a statement on Friday, the committee called on all communities in Gauteng to put an end to tribalism by speaking out on discriminatory, divisive and prejudicial behaviour.
It also encouraged unity among people regardless of tribal or cultural background.
The committee said Wednesday’s incident in Midrand highlights the level of tolerance or lack thereof towards each other’s different cultural practices.
It said that as the country commemorates Human Rights Month, the onus is on communities to shift the narrative and bring about unity and social cohesion in the province.
The committee also took the opportunity to commend the Clicks manager at the store for speaking out against the discrimination as well as the chief executive officer of Redefine Properties for taking decisive action to suspend the centre manager.
“This kind of accountability and consequence management where acts of discrimination are committed should be the norm. South Africa is a rainbow nation precisely due to the diversity of its people,” said the committee.
It further added that cultural diversity and tolerance are entrenched in the Constitution through the Traditional Leadership and Governance Framework Act (Act No 41 of 2003) which states, among others, the recognition of traditional communities in South Africa.
“As an economic hub, Gauteng has a yearly influx of people from across the country with diverse cultural backgrounds, who come to the province in search of economic opportunities. This then renders the community of Gauteng multi-cultural and inclusive, it is paramount that this diversity be embraced and celebrated by all.”
The committee has encouraged residents to proudly display their multi-faceted cultures in a manner that brings about unity and celebrates diversity.
“Discrimination and Prejudice of any kind should not be tolerated in our communities,” it said.