Affirmative action as currently practised by the South African government was doing the South African economy more harm than good, the Democratic Alliance (DA) federal congress resolved on Saturday.
The tone for the discussion about affirmative action was set by outgoing DA leader Tony Leon who in his last speech as party leader said that while the country's economy was growing, eight million South Africans were still without work.
"The government talks about the 'development state' as the answer, but it cannot deliver public service because of a skill shortage brought about by racial engineering," Leon said.
This argument was taken further by one of the delegates Deon Malan who said while the party supported affirmative action, its idea about it was different to that of the African National Congress (ANC).
"We do not support the kind of affirmative action that's being thrust down South Africa's throat by the ANC," he said.
He said what was needed was to "skill up young people", while providing older people with new skills. - Sapa