His argument is not without merit when one considers the skewed interpretation of the Employment Equity Act in some instances, and the variable degree to which historical disadvantage has seen redress through the letter, rather than the spirit, of the legislation being embraced.
I've always argued for a more nuanced view; I do not see why "women" as a category should enjoy legislated priority for appointment or promotion in areas which have traditionally been dominated by women (secretarial positions and HR, for example) but I also baulk at the notion of preferentially appointing white men into areas in which they are numerically (proportionally) underrepresented - generally the "lower" payclasses. I feel that the intention of the legislation was primarily redress, and secondarily diversity; and that there is a world of difference between exercising a choice not to enter into a job you consider low status, and being structurally excluded from consideration from such positions - both of which lead to low respresentivity, but only one of which, in my opinion, should warrant redress. Choosing to affirm - through appointment, at the expense of others - someone who's enjoyed affirmation their entire life (better schooling, greater cultural and social capital, etc) even for a "low payclass" position is to my mind morally inexcusable and in conflict with the spirit of the legislation - especially when there is no absolute scarcity of white men (albeit at "higher" levels) from which position to argue for the benefits of diversity.
I welcome the opportunity provided by Jimmy Manyi's remarks, and hope it leads to a more nuanced discussion of the intentions of the legislation, and the policies instantiating similar intentions at organisational level; a review of the successes and failures of the policies, and their constraints and silences, and some more intelligent proposals on a way forward.