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The Sting: BEE is too important to be left to the ANC alone

Ideas

The Sting: BEE is too important to be left to the ANC alone

BEE should be accepted as a constitutional imperative for the good of all and not a gift handed out to enrich the few

Columnist

President Cyril Ramaphosa says SA needs more black economic empowerment (BEE) to transform the economy and deracialise its ownership, and who in their right mind would disagree? What we don’t need, though, and what could kill any chance for a more inclusive economy based on modest prosperity, is more ANC BEE.

It’s not just that BEE, in the form that it has been abused and misused by the ANC to grease its patronage networks, has cost the economy and citizens in compromised services and infrastructural decay, as we heard at the Zondo commission. As important is that BEE has poisoned our politics and made it an unseemly and sometimes deadly scramble for the powers to grant patronage or even indulge in outright corruption. It’s a threat to our democracy.

This was plain at the ANC’s Ekurhuleni conference, held in the leafy confines of Johannesburg’s far northern suburbs, at what Gauteng premier David Makhura described as a “war zone’’, with displays of weaponry that wouldn’t have been out of place at the recent US National Rifle Association jamboree in Texas. Amid brazen shows of force and implicit violence, and the proceedings reduced to a struggle over credentials and positions, it is clear these posts are a life and death matter for some in the ruling party. ..

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