Businesses would be wise not to offend the black middle class
Johannesburg business person Adam Catzavelos, who recently tweeted a racist video, has shown once again that private actions in public spaces have real-world consequences. The consequences can be dire for a family-owned business when a significant shareholder and family member "goes rogue". This is not only an SA problem. Harvey Weinstein’s allegedly predatory behaviour towards women is the most blatant example, destroying a company that had an estimated value of $800m. St Georges Fine Foods is a family business started by Catzavelos’s father and took more than 50 years to build. Within 24 hours of the tweet going viral, clients including Brazza, Barons and Tasha’s ditched the line of sauces produced by the company. Small family-owned businesses across the country are particularly at risk of customer ire. Racism touches a raw nerve, with immediate calls for people to use their buying power to punish the offender.
The black middle class is now about 6-million people and growing...