1. Affirmative Action is a policy which attempts to address long standing opportunity inequalities within our society. By setting different standards for those groups who have been denied opportunities, it is hoped that a greater percentage of people within those groups will be able to reverse the status quo and take full advantage of opportunities within our society. On that basis, Affirmative Action is morally defensible. On the other hand, when individuals within one group are extended opportunities without meeting the standards that others must meet for the same opportunities, it is at the expense of the others, who may therefore be denied opportunities, even though they may have met a higher standard. On this basis, Affirmative Action may not be morally indefensible. Our Constitution is not colour-blind and recognises the need to take race and gender into account in making certain decisions. It sanctions the use of restorative measures such as affirmative action 2. .
3. South Africa chose to implement Affirmative action because it makes sure that qualified designated groups (black people, women and people with disabilities) have equal opportunities to get a job. Affirmative action means advance to a better life, a long overdue chance to become and start enjoying the good things the country has to offer. For others, particularly those leading comfortable lives today, it signifies a new form of discrimination and injustice, a vengeful form of juggling around with race quotas so as to threaten their livelihoods and security. We see this as a false choice. If well handled, affirmative action will help bind the nation together and produce benefits for everyone. If badly managed, it will simply re-distribute resentment, damage the economy and destroy social peace. If not undertaken at all, the country will remain backward and divided at its heart. In South Africa, we are dealing with a majority, not a minority that has been subjected not just...
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