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In the early years of black economic empowerment (BEE), where every blue-chip company worth its salt was announcing a deal that would see the introduction of black shareholders, many for the first time in their history, there was a common criticism that established business was just picking out an elite.
Among those commonly mentioned at the time as benefiting from what were essentially paper transactions at the time were Tokyo Sexwale, Mzi Khumalo, Patrice Motsepe, Saki Macozoma and current president Cyril Ramaphosa.
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It was fair criticism.These gentlemen, and a few women, built up quite significant investment companies that were laden with debt. To correct the picture and keep to the spirit of empowerment, policymakers pushed for companies to increase the number of black beneficiaries from these multimillion and sometimes multibillion-rand deals, which ushered in broad...
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