After PRAAG and other organisations had initiated a boycott against retailer Woolworths because of its discriminatory employment policy, the company responded with newspaper advertisements in major Sunday newspapers yesterday. Woolworths placed such advertisements in Rapport, the Sunday Times and City Press.
Woolworths also placed similar messages to the one published in the press in its shops all over the country. It claimed to be “setting the record straight”, stating: “Woolworths does employ white people… Diversity is important to us. It is not about numbers, but about people.”
However, consumers in the past week noted that there were almost no white employees to be seen in Woolworths shops all over the country. While a reputed 79% of consumers buying from Woolworths are white, they are being served by blacks and the company is also applying strict race preference in advertising for black personnel.
The campaign against Woolworths is also being waged on Facebook and Twitter where a large majority of participants have expressed their intention to boycott the upmarket supermarket chain.
Woolworths has for a long time refused to use the Afrikaans language in its shops and on packaging. Afrikaans is only to be found on medical and health products sold by Woolworths where legislation requires it. In previous discussions with PRAAG, Woolworths has refused to alter its language policy, stating that it abides by the ANC government’s legislation. Although the ANC does not prohibit Afrikaans, the regime is made up of previously exiled blacks, Indians and British people who are generally hostile to indigenous whites and the Afrikaans language.
According to Dr. Dan Roodt, “PRAAG and all other white consumers have two big reasons to boycott Woolworths. Firstly, because they are applying a form of apartheid within the international definition against the white minority and secondly because they are trying to marginalise the Afrikaans language which is spoken by the majority of South African whites and is also a second language to half of non-Afrikaans whites. We are looking into ways in which we can lay a criminal charge against Woolworths in terms of international law and will shortly proceed against them.”
PRAAG is also opposed to the use of Afrikaans terms on products in Woolworths. “Whereas Woolworths are anti-white and anti-Afrikaans, they are actually selling Afrikaner food in their shops and using our names for it, such as biltong, koesksisters, malvapoeding, sosaties and nartjies. This represents naked exploitatioin of our heritage, while attacking our culture,” said the leader of PRAAG.