BLACK ECONOMIC EMPOWERMENT
After legacy of apartheid in 1994 South Africa found themselves in major Economic Inequalities. To address this a number of laws have been adopted including, Black Economic Empowerment (BEE). However, the debate is still as current today as it was back in the early days of a new South Africa in the late 1990s. This has therefore led many to question if Black Economic Empowerment have made any progress in cutting down racial inequality in South Africa?
The Gini co-efficient, an international economic measurement of inequality shows south Africa still to be one of the most unequal countries in the world. Therefore, Black Economic Empowerment was introduced as on of the major pieces of Affirmative Action legislation in 2004. The BEE’s aim was to place more control of the economy in black hands and to enable blacks to access key posts in the private sector. As an example of BEE ‘in action’, in October 2004, STANDARD BANK chose SAKI MACOZOMA (a former political prisoner and now a leading businessman) as partners in a deal to reduce black unemployment, which at the time was at 40%. Although some would state that this represents progress for blacks South Africans, there was also a considerable amount of criticism of BEE. This was due to Macozoma and the bank making 200 million Rand of personal asset. Critics pointed out that the money should be funded for building projects, small black businesses and farms instead of making the rich black elite richer. They said this is the only was in which south Africa is to be genuinely ‘transformed’. Although many argue that there is progress being made through these partnerships for the state of unemployment, there are still critics questioning the motives of these organisations and where the money should be going. This shows that although there showed to be immediate action to deal with the problem, the money is only lining the pockets of the rich black elite and not helping or focusing on the...
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