News Brief

The DA Has Dropped a Major Affirmative Action Policy

The opposition party has dropped BBBEE citing it as being "unsustainable".

For a considerable while, major opposition party, the Democratic Alliance (DA), has contemplated doing away with Broad-based Black Economic Empowerment (BBBEE) as an affirmative action policy. A few months before the 2019 elections in May, they have formally done away with BBBEE.


According to News24, the head of the DA's policy-making council, Gwen Ngwenya, said:

"There is a very real commitment to black empowerment, but we recognize that triple BEE has not worked. Getting people into jobs, making sure they have the skills to earn a higher income when they are in the jobs - and therefore be able to put more of their income towards investment - that is the way to accumulate the kind of wealth that turns into inter-generational prosperity and BEE has not done that and will not do that. This is the period when political parties should be looking to review their offers to South Africans."

Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) is an affirmative action policy that was introduced by the current government in 2003 as a means of addressing inequality among Black people following Apartheid. It was then changed to BBBEE in renewed efforts to specifically increase Black people's access to finance through the redistribution of wealth and ownership within companies.

Under BBBEE, are also racial quota systems which seek to ensure that Black people are afforded the same opportunities as their White counterparts despite longstanding structural racism.

READ: Op-Ed: Why Siya Kolisi's Comments on Racial Quotas Are Wrong

A few of the shortfalls of BBBEE include fronting as well as the enabling of the political elite to benefit far more than the poor and working class South African citizens for whom the policy was intended.

The DA is yet to uncover what their alternative is and are said to be in the process of developing a new framework.


News Brief
Image supplied by the 2021 Mtv Africa Music Awards Kampala

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