ANC eyes coloured vote in Western Cape
The ANC in the Western Cape has sent a clear signal that it is going after the elusive "coloured vote" in this year's elections.
Provincial secretary Faiez Jacobs said on Thursday the party had appealed to the department of labour to make provincial demographics the "cornerstone" of government employment policies in the province.
Jacobs said his office had been inundated with complaints from coloured people, who make up half of the province's population, that they were being sidelined when applying for state jobs.
"From these complaints and also anecdotal evidence it's clear that some government departments are ignoring provincial demographics and using national demographics as the foundation of their employment policies in the Western Cape," Jacobs said in a statement.
Coloureds are Africans and qualify for affirmative action. They should not suffer discrimination. Because they're the majority group in the province, they should be the first beneficiaries of available jobsANC Provincial secretary Faiez Jacobs
"This is an incorrect interpretation of affirmative action, which has caused deep anger, hurt, hostility to our new democratic dispensation and the alienation of a community known as the coloured community.
"Coloureds are Africans and qualify for affirmative action. They should not suffer discrimination. Because they're the majority group in the province, they should be the first beneficiaries of available jobs at government departments and institutions."
Jacobs said dissatisfaction had reached boiling point in Mitchells Plain earlier in January when coloureds had gathered at a labour department office to protest that they were being overlooked for jobs that went to Africans.
"We have spoken to the department of labour about this and have warned them that perceptions like this lead to social unrest," he said.