The National Aeronautics and Space Agency (Nasa) defines a black hole as "a place in space where gravity pulls so much that even light cannot get out". There couldn’t be a more fitting description for broad-based black economic empowerment (B-BBEE); a policy that has absorbed significant resources — financial and nonfinancial — and which remains a dark area in terms of policy evaluation. B-BBEE, like its predecessor BEE, still takes and takes, diverting time and money from real black economic empowerment and funnelling it into narrow enrichment. The purpose of B-BBEE policy is to achieve the economic inclusion of black people into the economy. For such a goal, bottom-line indicators should surely include poverty, unemployment, income and net assets. Yet the effects of B-BBEE on those indicators are nearly nonexistent. In fact, very little credible evaluation of the effect of B-BBEE in overcoming broad economic exclusion is in the public domain. A World Bank report titled Overcoming ...

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