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WATCH | Fine advertisers R50bn for racism, says EFF

The SA Human Rights Commission is holding interviews into allegations of racism in advertising.

The EFF's Mbuyiseni Ndlozi testifies at the SA Human Rights Commission inquiry into racial discrimination in advertising. Photo Thulani Mbele.
SOsahrc1503__N0A6584 The EFF's Mbuyiseni Ndlozi testifies at the SA Human Rights Commission inquiry into racial discrimination in advertising. Photo Thulani Mbele.
Image: Thulani Mbele

EFF MP Mbuyiseni Ndlozi says a R50bn  fine should be imposed on the entire advertising sector for the racist narratives used to depict black people in advertising. 

He was speaking during the first sitting of the SA Human Rights Commission into racial discrimination and discrimination in SA advertisements. 

The inquiry was sparked by controversy in the industry from the 2018 H&M campaign which featured a black boy modelling a hoodie with the slogan “coolest monkey in the jungle”, to the 2022 Clicks advertisement for TRESemmé hair products depicting a white women’s hair as “normal” and a black women’s as “frizzy and dull”.

Social activist Zulaikha Patel testifies at the inquiry into racial discrimination or discrimination in advertising. Photo Thulani Mbele.
SAHRC hearings Social activist Zulaikha Patel testifies at the inquiry into racial discrimination or discrimination in advertising. Photo Thulani Mbele.
Image: Thulani Mbele

According to Ndlozi, these campaigns have led to new awareness and insight when approaching matters of anti-black racism. 

“There need to be consequences — our view is to move our country beyond workshops and empty forgiveness, a punitive approach is now long overdue,” he says. 

During September 2020, the EFF lead protests against Clicks over an advertisement for TRESemmé hair products. 

Activist Zulaikha Patel also calls for immediate accountability and suggests that there has been a “pattern that repeats itself, where we have seen advertisements that insult a majority of the demographic of our population”.  The hearings continue on Tuesday. 


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