How the political parties see B-BBEE? – EconoBEE Newsletter – 6 May 2014

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The elections are now upon us. We live in some very interesting times – however we can see many consistencies between the top political parties and their policies towards B-BBEE. Perhaps more fairly, not all the parties use the terms Black Economic Empowerment, but each one does have a view on transformation.

How the political parties see B-BBEE?

ANC
The ANC, being the current government, were at the forefront of creating the B-BBEE Legislation. ANC stands for BEE and affirmative action. Many politicians have complained about the implementation of BEE. Jacob Zuma has repeatedly stated that skills development and creation of new businesses is a priority.

DA
The DA supports transformation although sometimes not publicly. They support affirmative action and BEE for those people disadvantaged due to the apartheid policies.

On the policy side the DA’s transformation policy is built around their Economic Inclusion Policy. Additional information can be found on their website.

A recent press release stated

The DA supports BEE and employment equity aimed at empowering all South Africans who were disadvantaged by apartheid.

EFF
The EFF hasn’t developed a BEE policy to the same extent as the ANC or the DA, however they have been quite vocal about how BEE has been implemented. Instead the EFF use Nationalisation as a core form of economic transformation.

Their founding manifesto speaks of Black Economic Empowerment twice – once relating to political power and the other relating to economic transformation. In both cases they are quite critical of the fact that far too few people have benefited from the policy.

11. Political power in the control of the post-1994 government is meaningless, because it has not been used to win the battles that began during the wars of dispossession. Instead, the post-1994 government has played an active role in reproducing the inequalities and imbalances of the past by not doing anything to transform the economy, opting for superficial changes through black economic empowerment instead. The neoliberal policy approaches adopted and embraced by the post-1994 government have worsened the conditions of the poor, and ossified the structural unemployment and inequalities designed by colonial and apartheid South Africa. Vestiges of apartheid and colonial economic patterns, ownership and control remain intact despite the attainment of political freedom by the former liberation movement. Political freedom without economic emancipation is meaningless.

16. Concerning real economic transformation, the post-1994 democratic state has not achieved anything substantial owing to the fact that the economic-policy direction taken in the democratic-dawn years was not about fundamental transformation, but empowerment/enrichment meant to empower what could inherently be a few black aspirant capitalists, without the real transfer of wealth to the people as a whole. Empowerment legislation, particularly Black Economic Empowerment policies and various sector-transformation charters adopted by the democratic government dismally failed to substantially and sustainably empower the majority of the population, mainly targeted groups. It is important to note that even if all the objectives of empowerment charters were reached, South Africa would still be characterised by high levels of unemployment, poverty and inequality, therefore rendering the approach taken a wild goose chase.

Read full manifesto…

COPE
COPE initially stated that they will not follow affirmative action or BEE. They even invited a farmer to address their formation congress and he spoke glowingly about supporting them because they will guarantee his sons jobs. Subsequently they have stated their policy of following BEE.

Summary:
All major parties seem to recognize that transformation is needed, particularly for the poor. They differ on the method of implementation.

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EconoBEE Newsletter
 6 May 2014

In this issue

  • How the political parties see B-BBEE?

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