“To us a child is a child. We don’t discriminate," Elzane van der Merwe a spokesperson for the orphanage told Beeld. "Here we have 250 children between 18 months and 18 years that need care, regardless of race or gender.”
The orphanage houses abused children who are placed in the organization’s care by court order, according to its website. The home needs 25,620,000 South African Rand ($2,954,293) a year to run.
The Jakaranda Children’s Home was told that it will lose funding because its practices don't adhere to South Africa’s policy of Black Economic Empowerment (BEE), van der Merwe told news24.com.
The policy, which was implemented in 2007, is designed to accelerate economic growth by educating and training black citizens -- a large sector of the population that suffered during the apartheid.
A 2001 census showed that 79 percent of the South African population is black, 9.6 percent white and 2.5 percent Indian-Asian. Almost 20 years after the apartheid, a recent study reveals South Africa’s black majority directly owns less than 10 percent of the Johannesburg stock market, the Globe and Mail reports.
Under the BEE policy, businesses are awarded points for contributions made to programs that empower black people, news24.com reports.
Recently, new BEE policy measures have faced scrutiny by South African nonprofits.
In October, changes were made to the BEE Codes of Good Practice. Companies would only qualify for full points for donations made to 100 percent black African beneficiaries, according to The Star.
“This amendment will have a huge effect. It means if the charity benefits any Indian, white, coloured or even a Mozambican or Zimbabwean child, companies will not be able to claim points on their BEE score card,” Bridget Brun, a BEE agency head told the Star.
According to Dr. Rob Davies, South Africa's Trade and Industry Minister, the amendment was needed to transform the demographics in the workplace to better reflect those of society, he said in a statement.
For nonprofit leaders, the news challenged their organizations’ very existence.
“We don’t know the race of the child who phones us," Joan van Niekerk, head of the childhood abuse charity Childline told the Star. "It’s inappropriate to ask ‘are you black, and how black are you?’ This is a different kind of apartheid. It’s extremely distressing.”
But on Nov. 29, after citing media and public misinterpretation of the policy’s intentions, South Africa’s Department of Trade and Industry withdrew the controversial section, according to a department statement.
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Part of the crowd near the Drill Hall on the opening day of the Treason Trial, December 19, 1956. Times Media Collection, Museum Africa, Johannesburg.
South Africa goes on trial. Police and crowd outside court. The whole world was watching when the three major sabotage trials started in Pretoria, Cape Town and Maritzburg. Outside the palace of Justice during the Rivonia Trial, 1963. © Baileys Archives.
The 29 ANC Women’s League women are being arrested by the police for demonstrating against the permit laws, which prohibited them from entering townships without a permit, and were later kept in Boksburg Prison for 14 days. 26th August 1952. Courtesy of the artist.
South Africa goes on trial. Police outside the court. The whole world was watching when the three major sabotage trials started in Pretoria, Cape Town and Maritzburg. Outside the palace of Justice during the Rivonia Trial, 1963. © Baileys Archives.
SACP banner displayed at the funeral of the Cradock 4 (Matthew Goniwe, Ford Calata, Sparrow Mkonto, Sicelo Mhlauli) at Lingelihle Township,Cradock, Eastern Cape., July 20, 1985.
Harriet Gavshon in Jan Smuts Ave., Johannesburg. Part of a Black Sash protest stand in which protesters had to stand alone, or be arrested as an illegal gathering, July 19, 1985.
Sisulu released. South Africa, Soweto, 1989. Courtesy of the artist.
Right Wing. South Africa, Pretoria, 1990. Courtesy of the artist.
Mandela released. South Africa, Cape, Paarl, 1990. Courtesy of the artist.
Right Wing. South Africa, Pretoria, 1991. Courtesy of the artist.
The 94 election. South Africa, Soweto, 1994. Courtesy of the artist.