Apartheid racist salary structure persists to date despite scrapping of the system from statute books more than a decade ago. Poor African workers are the target of this irrational discriminatory and exploitative practice. Telkom workers went on strike this week and highlighted this outrageous vestige of workplace racism. Their fellow ‘white’ employees are paid double the salary for the same type of work.
This practice is prevalent in private sector companies with ‘white’ shareholding interest, including multinational corporations. Construction is one such sector where this exploitative racist practice is deeply entrenched. In most cases there is one or two token appointments of African faces in the management and boards of these companies to create a false picture of change. These few sellouts are as well underpaid, fully aware of this practice and house nigger converts of white supremacist ideology.
In majority of cases the fellows who get paid double the salary of an African worker, for the same work, are either under qualified or not qualified at all. The African worker does all the working and the white fellow get all the pay. In some cases even trainees are paid more and receive more perks than qualified professionals at the expense of the African worker. This barbaric practice amounts to workplace slavery.
The government and trade union federations are aware of this racist practice and do nothing to end this injustice. This is the kind of injustice that must be shot dead without any warning. The fact that Telkom, a state enterprise, is found to be a perpetrator of this practice is a damning indictment on the South African government and in fact this revelation confirms the view that the so called ‘new’ South Africa is still very much the old South Africa.
African workers must fight for abolition of this insulting apartheid racist practice and demand implementation of the principle of equal pay for equal work. The culprits must be also be forced to compensate African workers for all the years of workplace slavery.