SA’s black economic empowerment (BEE) model, which focuses on fostering black industrialists and has degenerated into making political capitalists with connections to the ANC leadership fabulously rich, is simply wrong. Such narrow BEE empowers only a handful of people, creates little value and has no multiplier effect on development, job creation or poverty reduction. It also makes it easy for BEE policy to be captured by corrupt elements for self-enrichment – as is the case now. The aim of BEE should be to change the structure of the economy, business and society. Enriching only a few well-connected sham business people will not do this. BEE should shift towards empowering as many black people as possible, create new products, services and technologies the country needs, foster new skills the economy needs and stimulate new kinds of industries. To make BEE genuinely broad-based, create real value and multiply its development effect, small and medium enterprises (SMEs) should becom...

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