The Minister for Small Business Development Khumbudzo Ntshavheni rejected in a statement issued yesterday the apology by the management of the retail store Clicks as meaningless.
She said that clicks missed the point that the offense is not only about the images that are insensitive but the fact that it represents the views of TRESemme.
She continued by saying she believes TRESemme are racists and reflected the continued undermining of the beauty of African women and the violence they suffer when they are deemed not meeting certain superficial standards.
Ntshavheni went on to say that the Apology alone was not enough – Clicks must remove the TRESemme product from its shelves as an expression of their disassociation with suppliers who promote racist and insensitive marketing.
“In addition, if Clicks management is serious about being ‘a proudly South African corporate citizen’ and want to make amends for its ‘error’, it must be reflected by steps to place more hair products made by South African SMMEs for African hair on its shelves. Diversity and inclusivity training for staff is just but a negligible drop in the ocean in the corrective action, and cannot be enough. The Department of Small Business Development remains available to assist Clicks to list more African hair products made by South African SMMEs for its shelves.”
“The time for South Africa to accept lip service apologies on racism and derogatory acts is over, but apologies must be backed by action to build an non-racial and equal society. A non-racial and equal society can only be underpinned by an inclusive economy, which requires the empowerment of black, women and youth-owned businesses. Minister Ntshavheni therefore calls upon Clicks to commit to a tangible corrective action by actively and visibly promoting black hair products that are manufactured by black, women, and youth-owned small businesses on their shelves. Any claim of non-racialism that is devoid of impactful economic transformation actions cannot acceptable.”