Affirmative action programmes get in the way of competition for resources and promote economic inefficiency. They assist a minority of favoured participants in the economy, easily identified, and harm the many more, mostly of the same pigmentation, who pay higher prices or taxes, earn less and sacrifice potential employment opportunities.

Costs and opportunities foregone can only be inferred because it is so difficult to isolate the influence of one force among the many that determine economic outcomes. BEE in SA can have a powerful influence on the direction of economic policy itself. The valuable rights to participate as essential BEE partners in government initiatives drive the policy agenda itself...

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