Minister rejects Clicks apology

…calls for promotion of local black hair products

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Diana Chiyangwa

The Minister of Small Business Development Khumbudzo Ntshaveni has rejected Clicks’ apology calling it “meaningless”.

This comes after Clicks South Africa has been roundly condemned for a racist advertorial that degraded black people.

Ntshaveni said: “Clicks misses the point that the offense is not only about the images that are insensitive but the fact that it represents the views of TRESemme that are racists and reflects the continued undermining of the beauty of African women and the violence they suffer when they are deemed not meeting certain standards”.

In his open letter, Clicks Group CEO Vikesh Ramsunder said: “The emotive responses of our customers have been mirrored by our employees and management teams and while the images and content were provided to us by our supplier TRESemme, this does not absolve from the blame”.

On Tuesday Clicks succumbed to pressure to remove TRESemme products from its shelves.

On Monday firebrand opposition party Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) had demonstrated across the country to push Clicks to act against its employers who were beyond the offensive advert.

Top six EFF members were deployed in different provinces as part of the national shutdown at all Clicks outlets in South Africa.

On Monday Clicks lost a court application to interdict the EFF from protesting.

At Clicks Sandton City, Floyd Shivambu, the EFF’s deputy president told the media that racism.

“Racism is a criminal offence,” Shivambu said.

Ntshaveni said if Clicks management was serious about being a South African corporate citizen and wants to make an amends for its “error”, it must be reflected by steps to place more hair products made by South African entrepreneurs for African hair products on their shelves.

Clicks said while it could not change what happened, it was committed to effecting real, systematic change across their business that reflects their pride in a being truly South African company.

The government on Monday condemned lawlessness as a means of resolving conflict after some Clicks outlets and burnt down in Queenstown.

Ntshaveni called upon Clicks to commit to a tangible corrective action by actively and visibly promoting black hair products that are manufactured by black, women, and youth owned small business on their shelves.

 

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