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Vol 49 No 24

Published 28th November 2008

South Africa

How to reinvent Black Economic Empowerment

Black Economic Empowerment was intended to place Africans alongside whites at the head of South African business. Most big white-controlled companies went along with BEE, facing two realities. First, black citizens had been barred from running businesses for 50 years under apartheid. Second, in the post-apartheid era, black executives could bring strong political connections to businesses that would keep critics away and attract government goodwill. The sensible thing was to work with senior African National Congress people since it offered an unprecedented chance of personal gain.

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