South Africa's aggressive affirmative action policy, which requires companies to give preferential hiring treatment to the country's 90 percent black population, colored community, Indians, and women has garnered both success and criticism.
South Africans growing up in destitute conditions perpetuated by apartheid have found financial security and professional fulfillment through increased opportunities. Some companies recruit the marginalized groups in high school and give them extra academic assistance and help through university.
Unfortunately affirmative action, along with instability, has caused 20 percent of the South Africa's white population to leave the country. And when not paired with training, a lack of necessary skills possessed by those receiving preferential hiring practices bothers both supporters and opponents of affirmative action. To find out how, read more.
Supporters tell BBC that the current policy is just a quick, elusive solution if not paired with significant training — when a someone is hired without training, he can easily be fired for lack of qualifications making affirmative action powerless. As for white workers, they feel as if the policy pushes them out and replaces them with someone of the "right color."
South Africa's unemployment rate is 40 percent. Because the program extends to over 90 percent of the population the extra advantage may be a little diluted. But the success stories suggest that when given a chance at training and a position, victims of past injustices can change their destinies.