Minister of Arts and Culture, Nathi Mthethwa, feels that South Africans everywhere should not be ashamed to speak out against racism.
Addressing a breakfast hosted by The Press Club in Cape Town on Thursday, Mthethwa said: “We are making progress in that racists are not as overt as they used to be and everyone is denouncing apartheid, but there is still lots of work to be done. The covert racism is what we need to confront.”
Mthethwa said that uncomfortable conversations needed to take place in order for the country to address racism.
“We must stop racism when it happens. Racists must never feel as if we are tolerant to their behaviour. We must never tire when it comes to addressing the issue of racism. We must mobilise all the time to ensure that when racism occurs, we reject it,” said Mthethwa.
He said that South Africans were generally not racist and there was goodwill amongst people, but that goodwill needed to be built on.
Mthethwa said that plans were afoot to strengthen legislation regarding racism. “We can’t curb beliefs but we can curb behaviour. The process to strengthen legislation against racism is underway and members of the public can now have their input considered. It is something that needs to be done.”
He said that all South Africans needed to be brave in tackling racism and needed to publicly denounce it. “We need to see people of all races taking to the streets and in one voice saying no to racism. We all have that very crucial role to play,” Mthethwa added.