The ‘once empowered, always empowered’ clause is out of step with the new codes, which allow for no such commitment, writes Carol Paton THE government and black business want to see a new wave of black economic empowerment (BEE) and are pulling the levers to get it started. But as the pressure ratchets up, the old debates are sure to arise: must firms continuously do new deals to maintain their ownership levels? Is BEE about redress and redistribution or about transformation? And what is the endgame for BEE in the economy?A new assertive phase of BEE kicked off on May 1. Previous BEE initiatives saw a substantial transfer of wealth into black hands. An Intellidex survey reported last month that between 2000 and last year, empowerment schemes resulted in an effective realisation of R317bn net of debt and financing costs. While this is significant redress, the economy is still commanded by white and monopoly capital. In the ranks of the new elite, the pressure for more change is palpa...

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