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Vol 50 No 6

Published 20th March 2009

South Africa

BEE hits the credit crunch

The transfer of wealth to black owners is slowing as the wealth fades, leaving a deep political hole behind it

The collapse of the world economy, and of demand for raw materials, has brought down the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, rocked South Africa's carefully regulated financial sector and endangered the big mining firms on which the country's relative prosperity was built. Next, it threatens the strategy of Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) which was designed to transfer economic power into the hands of the majority. The African National Congress, preparing for elections on 22 April, faces a new and intractable challenge, both economic and political.

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