Since the post democratic introduction of the first laws governing affirmative race-based empowerment, the regime has become increasingly complex, beset with detailed codes of good practice, governed by the sector codes, and, some would argue, bogged down by a plethora of ever-changing statutes.The black economic empowerment (BEE) environment is likely to become even more complex as the Conduct of Financial Institutions (Cofi) bill makes its way through parliament, as is expected towards the end of the year.As SA battles with an insurrection that has unleashed violent protests in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng following the jailing of former president Jacob Zuma, the focus of attention on the 20-year-old BEE regime has slipped largely from the public radar.Much has been happening on the policy front in the past six months that has an impact, in particular on key areas of the financial services sector of the economy — a preserve that continues to employ significant numbers of white people...

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