STEVEN FRIEDMAN: Corporate colonisers swap whips for flow charts
The state capture debacle should teach us to stop believing that big-name global consultancies have pure intentions
We have been reminded once again that our betters are not better after all. Last week, we learned that poet and philosopher Athol Williams, who was recruited by consultancy Bain to help restore a reputation damaged by its role in undermining the SA Revenue Service (Sars), resigned in August, only three months after taking the job. He says Bain would not answer his questions about its role at Sars and he believed it knew more than it was saying.
This further dents Bain’s image because it questions whether the company is serious when it says it regrets the damage it caused at Sars. It might also reduce the credibility of other international consultancy and auditing firms that aided state capture here, such as KPMG and McKinsey. It should also challenge some stereotypes many South Africans carry in their heads.