DA opposed to ANC’s Legal Profession Race Code

The DA is opposed to the ANC government’s planned implementation of a new Code of Good Practice for BBBEE in the legal profession.

The ANC’s dogmatic promotion of its failed BBBEE policy continues, with the comment period for its latest BBBEE code for the legal profession closing yesterday.

This racial code aims to bring all encompassing racial requirements into the legal sector. These include racial procurement, ownership and management requirements for qualifying legal firms.

Attorneys and advocates who fail to comply with this new code could potentially lose out on contracts with the state for legal services, thereby effectively making compliance with this code obligatory for many firms across the country.

BBBEE is widely considered a failed government policy, as its promise of uplifting previously disadvantaged individuals has not been realised. Instead, the policy results in benefits accruing repeatedly to an elite politically connected class of individuals. This is the hard truth the ANC government conveniently ignores.

While the DA welcomes the reduction in the overly burdensome pro-bono hours found within the previous draft, these hours must still be spent rendering services to poor, marginalized and black clients. The DA believes that pro bono work should be performed for any person who financially requires legal assistance, irrespective of their skin colour.

The DA strongly believes in – and has adopted – a policy of non-racialism that will effectively redress the continued economic exclusion of approximately 30 million impoverished citizens while simultaneously doing away with continued Apartheid-style racial classification as utilised within BBBEE legislation.

The DA believes that policy and legislation must address the root causes of inequality of opportunity, rather than focusing upon crude racial categories.

The DA urges national government to abandon its planned BBBEE Code for the Legal Sector, and instead focus upon improving court infrastructure and enhancing the accessibility of legal services to all South Africans.