Original publish date – Thu, 26 Mar 2009 11:06:04 +0000, patience

Recently I watched a TV programme that asked the youth to give their views and feelings towards BEE. According to the youth it depends on whether you are black or white. The feelings ranged from BEE being considered unfair to youths since they were not part of the apartheid and to its promotion of discrimination through rewarding others based on race or gender and not merit. There are various arguments for and against BEE, however the important fact is that the economic imbalances in the country need to be addressed.

I believe proper implementation of BEE will positively play an important role in molding the youth who are the future of the nation. It is often said ability is of little account without opportunity. Giving the poor black children the opportunity to go to better schools through socio-economic development or helping young black entrepreneurs through enterprise development certainly breaks the cycle of poverty.

Skills development, which is at the core of BEE, also gives the black young people the opportunity that they would otherwise not have due to poverty or discrimination. Skills development improves the employability of the youth and if companies have well-targeted skills development initiatives and learnerships they will be able to close the skills gap in the long run.