Why reclaiming the original spirit of BBBEE is crucial to nation-building in SA
In his latest article for News 24, author and columnist Siya Khumalo suggests that in order to avoid the kinds of violent scenes that have played out in Brackenfell and Senekal recently, we have to reclaim and truly embrace BBBEE.
What would happen, he asks, if South African businesses held government to account for implementing true Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment, just as vehemently as they slam them for corruption?
Khumalo joined CapeTalk's Refilwe Moloto to talk about the role of BBBEE in South Africa's much-needed nation-building process.
BBBEE was not actually the brainchild of the African National Congress (ANC)...
Khumalo says rather it was a conceptualization of the private sector to avoid nationalisation and expropriation without compensation.
Before the ANC became the governing party, it's economic redress thinking was more towards nationalistion and from that platform redistributing wealth.Siya Khumalo, Author and News24 columnist
The private sector then said if we can suggest laws that allow us to share the wealth to include black people.Siya Khumalo, Author and News24 columnist
So what went wrong?
The laws were subsequently used not used as a tool for economic redress says Khumalo.
Those private sector businesses used the laws they had suggested to buy political influence among one or two politically connected black people who then became extremely weathly.Siya Khumalo, Author and News24 columnist
So where does the EFF come in?
Khumalo says the Economic Freedom Fighters have marketed themselves specifically to the disenfranchised.
The EFF are geniuses! They wear maids and miners uniforms to say, 'you are working very hard for this country, it's only fair that remuneration practices, skills development regime looks at empowering you - you should be angry!'Siya Khumalo, Author and News24 columnist
Anti-blackness is normal in South Africa...
We think it is normal and healthy that the majority of black people in this country struggle the way they struggle.Siya Khumalo, Author and News24 columnist
Those who have resources feel threatened when anything at all is suggested to help those people have a leg up or an opportunity in life.Siya Khumalo, Author and News24 columnist
So how do we reclaim the original, intended purpose of BBBEE?
The answer is simple, says Khumalo. We apply the law.
For example in Brackenfell, we ask the school are you within the employment equity turnover band? We look at equal and equitable employment practises.Siya Khumalo, Author and News24 columnist
And we do it before the thing erupts. If we don't apply the law, we will have populism applied for us by someone else who is taking advantage of the situation.Siya Khumalo, Author and News24 columnist
Listen to the full conversation below:
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