“Dream on, if you expect BEE to bring you economic emancipation”


If black South Africans are waiting for Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) to bring them economic emancipation then they are building castles in the air, argued UCT professor and respected social commentator, Xolela Mangcu in a recent column published in City Press.

In a holds-no-barred tone, short of calling the current situation a crisis of epic proportions, Mangcu called for a “community revival” to replace what he termed a “wholesale culture of dependence that has defined black politics over the past 20 years”. He went on to say for that to work what the country needed were “smart, capable individuals and organisations”. Unfortunately, what the country had were “amandla functionaries with no qualifications other than loot public funds. He suggested the establishment of an entity or entities modelled on the current Afriforum would lead blacks on the path towards real economic emancipation.

Mangcu adds credence to the groundswell of opinion that the current practice is driving the country towards an economic cul-de-sac and practical alternatives have to be sought as a matter of urgency. Subsequent to that, in an article published on moneyweb, an online publication, evidently capilitalising on Mangcu’s audacity, revered writer and commentator, Max Du Preex, drew parallels between BEE to the Afrikaaner empowerment initiative, Broederbond. Decrying black economic empowerment, crony capitalism and cadre deployment, he noted: “Broederbond invested heavily in education, training, conferences and workshops to enhance skills in order to prepare their deployees to do their jobs properly. Superb organisation, strict discipline and determination were key.”

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