This article was motivated by a thoughtful and truthful letter to the editor in February, “BEE bars investment, boosts poverty and fuels graft (” by Peter Samson. However, it is indisputable that as a supposedly transformative concept and tool in postapartheid SA the origins of BEE ironically lie not in the liberation movement, led by the ANC, or in the black consciousness movement, founded by Steve Biko in 1968. No, it lies in the circles of the late Harry Oppenheimer and his Anglo American empire, on the eve of the watershed 1994 democratic and nonracial elections.

Oppenheimer and Anglo, which in the early 1990s owned and controlled about 75% of the JSE, in probably the most glaring concentration and centralisation of wealth in the world, was understandably nervous about the future of SA and its own interests after Nelson Mandela was released from pri...

Subscribe now to unlock this article.

Support BusinessLIVE’s award-winning journalism for R129 per month (digital access only).

There’s never been a more important time to support independent journalism in SA. Our subscription packages now offer an ad-free experience for readers.

Cancel anytime.

Would you like to comment on this article?
Sign up (it's quick and free) or sign in now.

Speech Bubbles

Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.