Tim Cohen Senior editor: Business Day

Last week, Water and Environmental Affairs Minister Edna Molewa wrote a reaction in Business Day to Richemont chairman Johann Rupert’s comment that radical economic transformation was "a code word for theft". In the process, she likened black economic empowerment (BEE) to "volkskapitalisme" of the apartheid era, commenting that it was "regrettable that this scathing critique of the black-majority government came from a beneficiary of the largesse of the interventionist apartheid state". This comment was just one of a host of distortions and inaccuracies in Molewa’s argument, but I really don’t mean to pick on her. The view she exposes is pretty commonplace in ANC circles nowadays and, in fact, her arguments were unusually well expressed. The second thing I should say is that simply because apartheid was fundamentally evil doesn’t mean we should entirely dispense with historical accuracy. More importantly, Molewa and the radical economic transformation crew are not actually focused o...

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