- Dec 23, 2007
I don't think ANYBODY would be crying about BEE if it was simply addressing inequality. The problem here is that the ANC have never wanted to address inequality and we know that. Every single time that BEE or AA is used in the context of government contracts or SOE's it's used to enrich a very elite few and their families. With the ANC at the helm BEE is synonymous with cronyism and nepotism. Until we actually see a break in this cycle, I don't think any South African should support the system. Think of it like E-Tolls. We knew exactly what the money would be used for, we didn't ask for it and the public boycotted it to the extent that it is now functionally irrelevant. The same needs to happen with BEE and AA. Employ the best right now. Once the system actually works, once we have SOE's that don't suffer from losses, major scandals and corruption, then look to address the supposed unequal distribution of skills and I bet you would find that it will have naturally sorted itself out in the time it would take for these institutions to be fixed.I don't think BEE works very well. It's far from a perfect system. Mostly the issue is that you're putting unskilled people into skilled positions and giving ownership to those who haven't worked for it, which isn't good for business or the economy.
On the other hand, as a response to apartheid I think some kind of reparations are completely warranted. As flawed as it obviously is, BEE is not an attack on whiteness - it's an attempt to redistribute wealth that was unjustly seized from people who were brutally victimised, without violence or recrimination. Could it be better? Sure, but it could also be bloody worse.