Black economic empowerment (BEE) deals undertaken by the JSE’s 100 largest companies have channelled nearly R52bn to charities, trusts and foundations, most of which has yet to be spent, a study released on Wednesday shows. The value created for charitable beneficiaries through these deals was potentially a game changer that could help alter the country’s fortunes if the money was well spent, said Sizwe Nxasana, chairman of the FirstRand Empowerment Foundation and former CEO of the banking group. Nxasana was speaking on the sidelines of the launch of the study, undertaken by Intellidex and the first of its kind. The Empowerment Endowment report examines what portion of the value created by the country’s largest BEE deals since 2002 has gone towards public benefit organisations. The report challenges the widely held view that BEE deals have benefited only a handful of politically connected elites but have had little to no broad-based effect on the majority of black South Africans. It...

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