Preamble to the B-BBEE Act

Original publish date – Wed, 05 Jun 2013 09:26:34 +0000, Keith

The first three sentences of the preamble to the B-BBEE Act 53 of 2003 give a very clear indication of the act, and its objectives:

WHEREAS under apartheid race was used to control access to South Africa’s productive resources and access to skills;

WHEREAS South Africa’s economy still excludes the vast majority of its people from ownership of productive assets and the possession of advanced skills;

WHEREAS South Africa’s economy performs below its potential because of the low level of income earned and generated by the majority of its people.


Is the above true?

  • Apartheid did use race to control people, and access to the economy.
  • Apartheid did deprive people of access to skills.
  • The economy still does show inequalities: Ownership of assets is still low amongst black people. Access to skills is still difficult. For example, a black man of 50 years old had no opportunity in 1980 due to apartheid and today still has less opportunity than people more privileged by apartheid. Latest Commission for Employment Equity reports confirm an improvement in black people having access to top jobs, but it still has not redressed the past.
  • SA’s economy would improve if more people had more skills and better jobs.

BEE is therefore aimed at redressing some of the problems caused by apartheid that still remain with us:

increased skills (note how skills is used twice in the first two sentences of the preamble).

Giving those people assistance in gaining access to productive resources

In order to increase low levels income to grow the economy


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