When diversity is discriminatory

EDITOR – How does insistence that a clinic committee has to have specific categories of social representation square with the commitment to an open and free society?

For when diversity is championed to the point of prescription, as Cllr JP Prinsloo advocates (SUN, October 12), it becomes discrimination.

Nowhere in my letter in the SUN of October 12 was any attempt made to politicise the process of clinic committee representation, as Prinsloo claims. Likewise, his claim that I do not recognise social diversity and have some kind of objection to youth is fallacious in the extreme.

Regardless of the circular from KZN health head Dr Zungu which makes reference to special interest groups, nowhere in sections 44 to 46 of the Health Act of 2009, as with the one of 2003, is rigid prescription of social categories specified for membership of a clinic committee. That is also reflected in a letter sent by city manager SC Nzuza in June 2017, regarding the formation of the Overport clinic committee.

In all of the above references, volunteerism is cited as the reality of membership which is open to any interested person within a community, irrespective of age, gender or any other criteria. Representation of a range of interest groups may be the ideal, but it is not obligatory and should not impede the establishment or functioning of the committee.

Therefore, my objection to Cllr Prinsloo’s approach on this matter is simply that his insistence on representation of a particular category of persons for the sake of diversity and social profiling amounts to discrimination because it pursues the discredited notion of quotas, while failing to appreciate that terms and conditions do not apply to volunteerism.

DR DUNCAN DU BOIS

  AUTHOR
Southlands Sun

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