Friday, March 31, 2006

 

The problems with black economic empowerment

I believe that from a macro perspective BEE (black economic empowerment) can be seen as an integrated and orderly socio-economic process that was located within the context of South Africa's transformation programme. The aim of BEE was to address the imbalances of the past while also seeking to ensure a broader and meaningful participation in the economy by black people. But the question is -is the process working to reach its aim ?

Many people feel that the whole process of empowerment is not complete. Many companies are still owned by the the minority population and many farmers still see black economic empowerment as a threat to their own existence. Then there are also the misunderstanding of BEE. The people who get involved in BEE concerntrate only in ownership of assets (especially the mines) and overlook areas such as human resource development, management at senior level and indirect empowerment through corporate social investment. Then there is the big issue of BEE benefitting a selected few. I also question myself as to why certain individuals are always empowered. Then I come up with the possible answer which says people at ground-level are not well- informed of the role they could play in the economy.

I belelive that in order to achieve the aims of BEE, there should be an effort from both the citizens and government. The government should make more effort to inform people about the economic activities while also the citizens should broaden their business skills and views. Companies should also create an enabling environment which align black empowerment iniatives.

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