EFF to meet with Clicks while DA lament boycott of TRESemmé products

The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) have announced that they will hold talks with Clicks CEO Vikesh Ramsunder on Thursday 10 September to hopefully resolve the ongoing conflict between the two parties, which has seen widespread protest resulting in the vandalism of a number of stores. 


Meanwhile, the announcement on Wednesday 9 September that retail giant Checkers has followed Clicks' lead in removing all TRESemmé products from their shelves has led the Democratic Alliance (DA) to warn that the move will unduly punish small businesses and consumers. 

EFF agree to hold talks with Clicks CEO


In a statement released on Wednesday evening, the EFF said that Clicks had requested the meeting to discuss the advertisement and subsequent protests. 


"This meeting comes at the request of Clicks in what is an attempt to reach an amicable resolution between the EFF and Clicks on matters regarding racial discrimination and reasonable steps to ensure there is accountability for the offensive advert," they said. 


The Red Berets added that the meeting would not mean that they are considering suspending their protest action, and they called on members to once again mobilise at Clicks stores nationwide. 


"It is important to note that the peaceful protests of the EFF will continue across all Clicks outlets as planned on 10 September," they said. 


"We encourage all members and ground forces to maintain the highest level of discipline as we continue to defend the dignity of black people."

DA accuse Checkers, Clicks of 'succumbing to political pressure' 


Ahead of this development, the DA voiced its displeasure with Checkers and Clicks having removed TRESemmé products from their shelves in the wake of the outrage over the advert, saying that the move is disingenuous and suggests that the companies have both succumbed to political pressure. 


DA Shadow Minister of Small Business Development Zakhele Mbhele said in a statement shortly after the announcement by Checkers on Wednesday that although TRESemme's parent company, Unilever, as well as Clicks "should be rightly held accountable for their insensitivity as it relates to this deeply problematic advert", the decision to boycott the product is "unfortunate". 


"We find it regrettable that both Clicks and Checkers have now succumbed to political pressure from both the EFF's violent destruction of property, as well as comments from Small Business Development Minister, Khumbudzo Ntshavheni," said Mbhele. 


In her response to the controversy, Ntshavheni called for TRESemmé products to be removed from Clicks shelves, but Mbhele believes that this action is counter-intuitive. 


"While it is correct to champion more inclusivity and diversity in the retail offering of hair care products, particularly those made by SMMEs, it is quite another matter, and ill-advised, to advocate for the removal of current products," she said. 


"This decision by Clicks and the Minister's support of this move will not only constrain consumer choice, but the adverse upstream effects of such a move could be harmful to the small businesses that feed into the value chains of those removed products." 

Ntshavheni 'indignation' unacceptable – DA


Mbele questioned whether Ntshavheni is willing to tell the employees of the affected small businesses "that their livelihoods are less important than her indignation".


"Does the Minister not understand that the government should be doing everything possible to protect businesses, preserve jobs and enable economic recovery, in the face of business closures, job losses and economic contraction stemming from the devastating hard lockdown?" she asked. 


"It is a false and limited perspective which sets the stage for unnecessary conflict, on the assumption of a finite pie to be shared, rather than maximising on prospects for increasing the size of the pie through creating and expanding opportunities for more small business financing, more ease and lower costs of doing business, improved access to markets, and ultimately higher economic growth."

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