A data set obtained by Open Up reveals that black South Africans are registering small and medium-sized businesses at an unsurpassed pace, illustrating an entrepreneurial zeal that needs support. This excludes coloured, Indian and Chinese people who are also classified as black. Support for small and medium-sized businesses is at the heart of ANC economic policy, and the data reveals the pent-up demand as well as a seismic shift in who is registering companies. Data for 2016 shows that 60% of company registrations with one or two directors were owned by black Africans. White-owned company registrations are at 20%, and the remaining 20% of registrations have mixed directorships, which include black people. The data blows holes in the rhetoric that says black people are not participating in the economy and marks the first time that a racial qualifier has been added to the raw numbers. The director demographics are not a perfect proxy for small and medium-sized business ownership but d...

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