Don’t call us ‘coloured’, Ehrenreich tells Ramaphosa


Executive Member
Sep 22, 2005
The former head of Cosatu in the Western Cape has suggested that the term be replaced by ‘Camisa’.
Former Western Cape Cosatu boss Tony Ehrenreich has written an open letter to president Cyril Ramaphosa saying he wants the term ‘coloured’ scrapped, suggesting ‘Camisa’ as its replacement.
“We are a growing culture that has a big part of its origins at the mouth of the Camisa river, where there was a bustling multi-cultural and multi-national trade station,” he wrote.
“This term Camisa, which referred to the sweet waters that emerged from this river, more accurately covers our cultural identity, and we prefer that reference to our cultural identity,” he continued.
Ehrenreich wrote that he sees the term ‘coloured’ as a “a derogatory construct of the apartheid racial separation of people”.
He also slammed what he sees as “the de-Africanisation of the ‘coloured people’ in SA.”
The politician further hit out at what he sees as the exclusion of the ‘coloured’ community from African culture.
“Let this Heritage Day be the last one that sees the coloured community excluded from their rightful place in the family of African cultures that make up the Rainbow Nation,” he said.
READ MORE: Chief Khoisan wants the word ‘coloured’ abolished
“We ask for a consultative process that leads to the correction of this historical and cultural anomaly in SA.”
Ehrenreich described the letter as: “correspondence from me, in my personal capacity, in relation to the cultural heritage of the coloured people and the political and economic legacy, that this presents to the community that I am from”.
“I write this letter to you as an anti-apartheid and anti-colonial activist in SA, under the banner of the ANC. I am a black South African; I am an African by history and by affinity.”
Ehrenreich is not alone in his problems with the term ‘coloured.’
In July, The Citizen reported that the head of South Africa’s Khoisan community Chief Khoisan SA feels the same way.
He visited various Statistics SA offices all over the country to hand over a memorandum demanding that their heritage and culture be recognised by the government.
Chief Khoisan called on ‘coloured’ South Africans to deny the race classification as the term came about in 1950 to distinguish between Khoisan natives and black South Africans.
You just can not make this crap up ....jirre


Honorary Master
Feb 26, 2011
Maybe this issue should be put to bed once and for all, through a vote, we cannot keep having this everytime, who us Ehrenreich speaking for anyway?


Honorary Master
Jul 6, 2010
I don't know a single coloured person who has any problem calling themselves coloured.

Unlike the rest of the world they are the exception to that rule with zero issue calling themselves that.

Where this idiot falls out of the tree with "Camisa" as an alternative is beyond me. Living in his own bubble.


Expert Member
Oct 23, 2006
Maybe this issue should be put to bed once and for all, through a vote, we cannot keep having this everytime, who us Ehrenreich speaking for anyway?
boer is offensive to afrikaners. coloured is offensive to coloureds. What next - Is being called Indian offensive to Indians as well?


Honorary Master
Aug 4, 2008
I just showed this article to my coloured colleague, and he said not a **** will he ever be called a "camisa". He's coloured through and through. :ROFL:
Doesn't preferring to be called coloured indicate a little bit of mental slavery though? Same way that some Asians are not okay with being referred to that way as it is a label they got given by foreign "invaders"?


Expert Member
Jan 20, 2009
I have a coloured colleague who does not like the term. She prefers to think of herself as black.