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South Africa’s Opposition Protest Affirmative Action

Members of South Africa’s main opposition party took to the streets Wednesday in Cape Town to protest a new law that allows racial quotas in the workplace, saying it will discriminate against minority whites, Indians and mixed-race people. Protester Astrid-Anne Abrahams is part of the mixed-race minority group classified in South Africa as “colored.” The South African government says the law is necessary because most companies are not following through on pledges to transform their workforce by hiring more qualified Black South Africans. While Black people make up an estimated four-fifths of the more than 60 million people in South Africa, the latest employment equity report from the government shows they hold only 16.9 percent of management positions. Earlier this year, President Cyril Ramaphosa signed into law the amendment to the Employment Equity Act of 1998, giving the minister of employment the power to set targets for certain sectors. Companies that employ more than 50 people will be affected.