I have been somewhat bemused by the numerous calls to boycott Woolworths. This call for a boycott comes amidst accusations that Woolworths apparently excludes whites from employment.
I believe that the call to boycott Woolworths was started by a chap by the name of Justin Harrison, who is apparently an Internet marketing guru. He both wrote about the racist practices of Woolworths on his Blog, Justin Harrison, and also tweeted: “We are calling for a boycott on all #Woolworths SA stores until they provide equal job oppertunities not based on race.”[Sic]
There have been many others who also felt the need to express their thoughts on the matter. For example, Vreesloos Afrikaans, whose background picture on Twitter is of oxen pulling an ox wagon, tweeted that: “If a white person can’t work at Woolies, why must we spend our money there?” I think the oxen and his profile picture clearly indicate that he has issues with modern South Africa.
Then there was the ever-controversial Steve Hofmeyr who also felt that he needed to jump on the bandwagon. He tweeted: “Gonna be hard, but goodbye Woolies.”
Dirk Hermann, from the trade union, Solidarity, also weighed in saying that it intended starting a campaign against the retailer if it did not change job advertisements on its website stating that only black, coloured and Indian candidates would be considered.
Listen, the truth of the matter is that we all know that employment equity principles apply to all companies in South Africa with more than fifty employees. This is the law and is defined in the Employment Equity Act. It has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with Woolworths.
Now, personally, as a white person, I don’t see the issue with a company stating that a position is not for whites. I really would prefer to know in advance whether I will or will not be considered for the advertised position. It saves me the aggravation of applying for the position and the frustration of getting my hopes up over something that will never be.
The honesty of the Woolworths advert must be applauded, not condemned. It helps those who will not be considered to focus on those advertised positions where we will have a reasonable opportunity of getting the job.
The Woolworths matter has been blown out of proportion and is fuelled by nothing more than a bunch of prima donna’s looking for media exposure. They present a distorted picture of a company that does not employ white people, which is, we all know very well, just blatantly untrue. Sam Wilson, a digital editor at Woolworths, puts it in a nutshell with this comment on Twitter: “Dude, I’m new and I am white. Also I am currently interviewing white people. This just ISN’T true”.
Come on everyone, get over it already! There must surely be more important issues for us to focus on!