Affirmative action in South Africa: Are we creating new casualties?

09 Dec 2015

Affirmative action policies in South Africa and other countries have been designed to address inequity and discrimination, and to manage a wide range of diversity in all spheres of life, particularly after the end of apartheid in 1994. Years after implementing affirmative action in South Africa, perceptions of its impact or even benefit seem to vary from person to person. This article presents the fi ndings from a study utilizing different data sources including document review, interviews, and a consensus workshop on the perceptions of the impact of affi rmative action in South Africa. It is part of a larger European Commission–funded comparative study of positive action measures across countries in North America, the European Union, and South Africa. Participants were drawn from different public and private organizational sectors, racial groups, genders, age groups, and people with disabilities. The analyzed data provided insight into how society might be perceiving and reacting to the operation of affirmative action in South Africa.