DA officially backs BEE

CAPE TOWN - The Democratic Alliance says it supports Employment Equity and Broad-based Black Economic empowerment, but it will not support racial quotas.

The party has clarified its position on the matter after u-turning on new employment equity legislation it had earlier given the thumbs-up to.

Following a policy conference in Cape Town, the party set out to definitively state its position on black empowerment and employment equity.

"We support BBBEE that creates jobs. Black advancement benefits everyone. And BBBEE that benefits not just the few," DA leader Helen Zille said.

Zille denies a racial split in the party.

"There wasn&39;t any division or racial polarisation on these issues at all in the DA," Zille insisted.

The DA says it endorses policies that incentivise employers who meet equity targets, rather than punishing those who do not.

It says it will not support race quotas for jobs, but rather believes in flexible targets.

"Economic inclusion requires economic expansion. The long run is not about race, it is about opportunity," DA national spokesperson Mmusi Maimane said.

Asked whether the party&39;s support for employment equity and BEE could offend some white voters, the party&39;s leader was firm.

"Our policy is that black advancement benefits everyone and if they don&39;t like it there are other parties," Zille said.

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