Social Justice and Advocacy

Black Lives Matter

On 10 April 2020, 40-year-old Collins Khosa was killed by law enforcement officers who said he had violated lockdown regulations. The South African National Defence Force exonerated the soldiers and police implicated in his murder, but their report was widely criticised and called a cover-up. Multiple reports and videos of police and soldiers kicking, slapping, whipping, shooting at, and humiliating people violating the lockdown regulations emerged. By June, 11 people had died due to police action. On 9 June, thousands of South Africans attended Black Lives Matter demonstrations in Cape Town, Johannesburg, and Pretoria to protest violence by security forces as well as the type of systemic racism that has given rise to such abuse. They took their cue from the Black Lives Matter protests in the United States following the death of George Floyd, who was murdered during an arrest in Minneapolis on 25 May 2020. In the workplace, there is a growing understanding that the business sector must address biases and power imbalances, provide tangible support for black employees, and focus on closing the pay gap. According to ‘Inequality Trends in South Africa’, published by Statistics South Africa in 2019, white people still earn on average three times more than black people.

Source: Trialogue Business in Society Handbook 2020