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Southall, Roger
Year of Publication: 
Series/Report no.: 
DIIS Working Paper 2006:28
The policies relating to Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) in South Africa constitute a logical unfolding of a strategy which has been largely dictated by the history of the ruling African National Congress (ANC), the nature of the democratic settlement of 1994, and the structure of the South African economy. From this perspective, the logic of BEE can be pursued through ten propositions which argue that the ANC has sought control of the state to ‘internally decolonise’ South Africa. This includes the use of state power to extend black control and ownership of the overwhelmingly white-dominated corporate structure and economy. The author argues: that the assertions that BEE policies have been inherently elitist are somewhat exaggerated; that BEE has probably been more ‘broadly-based’ that is generally allowed; and that the centrality of political leverage to the promotion of black capitalism points to cronyism and compradorism rather than ‘Weberian style’ entrepreneurialism. The author concluded that, while BEE or some BEE-style policies are necessary to overcome historical injustice and provide the basis for political stability, affirmative action in politics and the economy will only work to promote ‘a better life for all’ if it is systematically combined with concerted anti-poverty strategies.
Document Type: 
Working Paper

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