Small Business Development Minister Khumbudzo Ntshavheni has called on Clicks to commit to tangible corrective action by actively promoting black hair products that are manufactured by black, women, and youth-owned small businesses.
“A non-racial and equal society can only be underpinned by an inclusive economy, which requires the empowerment of black, women and youth-owned businesses. Any claim of non-racialism that is devoid of impactful economic transformation actions cannot be acceptable,” Ntshavheni said.
In a statement on Monday, Ntshavheni said the apology by the management of the retail stores must be backed by action to build a non-racial and equal society.
The Minister’s comments come after public outrage following the Clicks advertisement, where black hair is portrayed as “dry and damaged”.
“Clicks misses the point that the offence is not only about the images that are insensitive but the fact that it represents the views of TRESemme that are racists and reflect the continued undermining of the beauty of African women, and the violence they suffer when they are deemed not meeting certain superficial standards,” said Ntshavheni.
Ntshavheni said if Clicks management is serious about being a proudly South African corporate citizen and wants to make amends for its “error”, it must be reflected by steps to place more hair products made by South African small, medium and micro Enterprises (SMMEs) for African hair on its shelves.
“Diversity and inclusivity training for staff is just but a negligible drop in the ocean in the corrective action, and cannot be enough. The Department of Small Business Development remains available to assist Clicks to list more African hair products made by South African SMMEs for its shelves,” the Minister said.