Cape Town - South Africans of all races and across the social strata were on Wednesday encouraged to take individual responsibility in the fight against racism. This, after Independent Media, along with its partners, launched the “Racism Stops With Me” campaign in Cape Town.
“Racism in South Africa remains a blight in our country,” said executive chairperson of Independent Media and Sekunjalo Investment Holdings, Dr Iqbal Surve.
At the media launch, Surve said the urgent need to address racism served as rationale for the campaign. Alongside, was the want to provide a platform for all voices regardless of age, race, education, or class.
The campaign would take many forms, making it accessible to virtually all South Africans, he said. On its news platforms, Independent Media would publish the analysis and opinions of national and international thought leaders on the subject. A campaign website has also been launched and can be found at stopracism.iol.co.za.
On the dedicated website, readers would have access to guidance on how to deal with bigotry. For those on social media, using the hashtag #RacismStopsWithMe, would enable one to be part of the discussion. The importance of social accessibility to the campaign is highlighted by the presence of partner the South African Clothing and Textile Workers Union (Sactwu).
Secretary-general Andre Kriel called the campaign a “natural fit” with the workers' plight as it was intertwined with the triple crises of poverty, inequality and unemployment.
“Together, let's fight racism wherever we find it, no matter how difficult it may be,” said Kriel. The official roll-out coincides with the 50th anniversary of forced removals in District Six, as well as the 26th anniversary of former President and proponent of non-racialism Nelson Mandela's release from Victor Verster (now Drakenstein).
Another campaign partner, one who leads discussions and advocacy for non-racialism in post-apartheid South Africa, is the Ahmed Kathrada Foundation. Neeshan Bolton, chairperson of the Foundation, said the campaign formed an integral part of the unfolding fight against racism. He said that a multitude of anti-racism bodies would eventually culminate in multiple solutions.
The Fibre Processing and Manufacturing Seta have also put their weight behind the campaign and joined as a partner. The campaign would also see economic benefits for workers and skills building for youth.
100 young South Africans would be employed by Independent Media as interns as part of the campaign, whilst at least one million T-shirts bearing the campaign logo would be produced by a Sactwu-owned clothing factory. The campaign would officially launch on Thursday.
African News Agency
*Use IOL’s Facebook and Twitter pages to comment on our stories. See links below.