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Vol 44 No 23

Published 21st November 2003


South Africa

BEE is for business

President Mbeki shifts responsibility for black empowerment to the business sector

Can government plans for black empowerment and the transfer of equity to black-owned businesses work in tandem with its market economic strategy? That is the question that foreign investors are asking as government officials insist that much more must be done than in the last decade of assisted corporate sales to a new black share-owning class. Typical of that strategy is the 17 November announcement by African Oxygen that it would sell its 69 per cent stake in Afrox Healthcare to a black consortium for R3.1 billion ($453 million). African Oxygen is the SA branch of British-based BOC Group, once Brin's Oxygen Group. Afrox reportedly owns 63 hospitals in SA.

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