Government has noted the public outrage following the Clicks advertisement where black hair is portrayed as “dry and damaged”. Whilst we are equally disturbed by the crude racist display by the advertisement in question, the acts of lawlessness of vandalizing and burning down Clicks stores that have been reported today are concerning and go against the spirit of peace and respect for human rights that has shaped this country since the dawn of democracy.  Engaging in lawless behavior is not a responsible way to resolve conflict.

As this matter is being ventilated, the government calls on all South Africans to resist the temptation to take the law into their own hands, remain calm and follow the correct and legal channels to address their concerns. Members of the public who witness any form of intimidation or act of violence should contact the nearest police station or call the toll free number: 10 111 to report such incidents.

Minister in the Presidency, Jackson Mthembu said, “We remain committed to the values of democracy.  Any form of discrimination or violation of human rights for whatever reason cannot be tolerated as it undermines the progress made in building a united democratic country.

The fight against discrimination remains the priority of government.  It is for this reason that in March 2019 Cabinet approved the National Action Plan to Combat Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance, a tool that empowers government to act against such injustices.

“Even in the face of resistance by a small minority, we continue with efforts to build a united South Africa that we can all be proud of. As we launch Heritage Month today, we are reminded of the many cultures, traditions and languages that make us who we are. In the spirit of social cohesion, let us all cherish and respect one another regardless of color, background, gender and religion,” Mthembu said.

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