Justifying the move, local health department chiefs underscored the need to rectify the historical racial imbalance in South Africa caused by apartheid.
The health department in South Africa’s KwaZulu-Natal Province has decided to fill 100 new posts with only black doctors, according to The Times LIVE.
The South African newspaper reported that department officials expanded its registrar programme for 2019 from 314 to 414 without allowing white doctors to be recruited.
The alleged goal is to redress the apartheid-related historical racial imbalance in the country, where most high-ranking positions were routinely filed by white medics.
In an interview with Times LIVE, KwaZulu-Natal health department spokeswoman Ncumisa Mafunda called the redress a “government imperative”‘ and “the morally and socially right thing to do” in South Africa which she said remains “an unequal society with limited opportunities for self-development for those who were historically oppressed”.
“This means 238 posts must be filled with [black] Africans to take the current 128 filled posts to the target of 366. This implies that the 100 new posts must go to Africans in terms of the targets, else if there are no suitable Africans, the posts must be re-advertised,” Mafunda added.
Mary de Haas, a member of Medical Rights Advocacy Network (MERAN), for her part, slammed the redress as “discriminatory” and “unconstitutional”, accusing the KwaZulu-Natal health department of mismanaging department budgets.
“I think it is a very bad way of doing it. It’s not really fair to sideline people who have done extremely well. ‘It [the health department] spent money sending students to Cuba instead of building local capacity, which would have sorted this out years ago,” Haas claimed.
She was echoed by South Africa’s Democratic Alliance Party spokesman Imran Keeka, who argued that a policy which “causes the domination of one race over the other by exclusion is nothing more than an aberration of our constitutional values and is racist”.
Meanwhile, most Twitter users expressed frustration over the KwaZulu-Natal health department’s decision, with some slamming it as “rash” a “white genocide”.
The developments come after a record number of white South African farmers had already put their land up for sale as the country’s ruling African National Congress (ANC) party considers altering the country’s constitution to allow the white farmers’ land to be expropriated without compensation. In December 2018, the country’s parliament approved the establishment of a committee which is due to hammer out a legal amendment to section 25 of the constitution and present it later this year.
Apartheid, a system of institutionalised racial segregation, was in place in South Africa between 1948 and the early 1990s. The regime was based on the white supremacy political culture which specifically stipulated the state-endorsed oppression of Black Africans for the benefit of the country’s minority white population.