The Aurora debacle gives transformation a bad name



It is only natural that opponents of the country’s transformation project are celebrating at the collapse of the Aurora mining venture, as it provides them with the perfect ammunition to justify the view that transformation is a non-starter and will always be.

Conveniently, anti-transformation advocates would claim to have credible evidence to back their flawed reasoning.

First, they would argue that black people are not yet qualified to successfully run businesses in the skills-intensive mining sector.

To make matters worse, people with two of the country’s high profile surnames – Zodwa Mandela and Khulubuse Zuma – are involved. This, critics would contend, proves that, if some of the country’s respected elite cannot run a business, you should not expect much from ‘ordinary’ beneficiaries.

To further substantiate their misgivings, the majority of the failed venture’s victims are Historically Disadvantaged Individuals (HDI), which would imply that the beneficiaries of multimillion rand black economic empowerment deals do not care about improving the living conditions of their own people.

Though it can be pointed out as a case of one rotten apple, Aurora’s collapse does give the well-intentioned and noble Transformation programme a bad name. Hopefully, aspiring black investors will be more circumspect and avoid Aurora’s tragic path.

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