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  |  Letters

COSATU Open Letter to the Human Rights Commission and Broadcasting Complaints Commission of South Africa

29 February 2016

Att: Provincial Manager - HRC
Karam Singh
Contact: Shafeeqah Salie
E-mail: ssalie@sahrc.org.za

Att: Chairperson - BCCSA
Justice Ratha Mokgoatlheng

Postal Address:
PO Box 412365
CRAIGHALL
2024
And: E-mail: bccsa@nabsa.co.za

Re: COSATU Complaint In Relation To Racism by the Western Cape Provincial Government on Heart 1049 FM

Dear Sirs

Please receive a formal complaint from our offices in relation to an act of racism currently taking place on Heart 1049 FM, as directed by the Provincial Government.

The specific instance relates to an advertisement from the Western Cape Provincial Government against Drinking and Driving. Whilst we support the campaign in principle, we lodge this complaint against the racial stereotyping in the advert.

This advert has what sounds like a Coloured male accent from the Western Cape talking about how much alcohol he will be consuming and the accident that he will then cause. This feeds into the stereotype that coloured people are drunks, abuse alcohol and are responsible for accidents and deaths. This is completely unacceptable and should be urgently addressed.

We demand the following corrective actions to be taken:

  1. That the advert immediately be withdrawn from the radio;
  2. That the content of the advert be evaluated and reported on publicly, particularly on whether this constitutes racism;
  3. The Provincial Government be ordered to desist from promoting division and racism in the Western Cape;
  4. The radio station should also be cautioned for the link that it advances between a political party and State, in the manner that they run promotions and adverts on Heart FM.

(a) Here, by way of example, they use the Mayor, in her personal capacity, who is a DA leader, and link her to City Council programmes in their adverts.

- This is a clear abuse of State Funds that have seen the Western Cape Provincial Government and the City Council spend R50 million rand on an advertising budget that promotes a political agenda.

We ask that your offices urgently investigate and attend to this Complaint as it exacerbates the growing tensions related to race.

The DA and the Provincial Government is seen as racist and promoting divisions, when viewed in the light of the Western Cape Premier's Comments in relation to refugees. These acts also aid and encourages the advantages of white generational privileges in the Western Cape to continue and be legitimised, leading to further divisions.

Yours Faithfully

Tony Ehrenreich
Cosatu Secretary

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