THE implementation and interpretation of the total spectrum of black economic empowerment (BEE) legislation is entering an interesting phase. The functionaries and executives in the government over the years have had their own ideas and often interpreted rules in ways that are not reconcilable with the rule of law. In the past, the private sector swallowed this for the sake of transformation, but all the signs are pointing to major disputes and long court battles over the way that BEE is being applied.The prognosis is that the authorities are at risk of killing off substantial long-term progress for the sake of short-term political points. This shortsightedness might also lead to the authorities overplaying their hands with court rulings eroding and reducing BEE and transformation rules to such a degree that they become counterproductive to the objectives they are designed to achieve.A similar situation prevailed as far as employment equity policies are concerned in the public servi...

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