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IRR welcomes DA decision to move from BEE

Marius Roodt says challenge now is to produce a policy that benefits the poor

IRR welcomes signal DA decision on BEE

Institute of Race Relations Campaign Manager Marius Roodt today reacted to the news of the DA Federal Council announcement on BEE with the following statement:

‘News that the DA Federal Council has abandoned Black Economic Empowerment in favour of an alternative policy framework is to be welcomed. It is a brave decision and a good one: by all measures BEE, in all its iterations, has failed.

‘The IRR has a produced a great deal of in-depth research to this end. We wait to see what the DA’s alternative framework will be.

‘DA leader Mmusi Maimane’s statement that “we need a wholesale change in empowerment policies, to move away from race-based policies”, suggests that whatever is to follow will not rely on racial profiling. This, too, is to be welcomed.

‘The challenge will now be to produce a policy that benefits the poor, the majority of whom are black South Africans, without resorting to quotas or the crude enrichment of an elite.

‘The DA’s decision should not be taken likely. This is a bold move for a party that has been historically fraught on all issues concerning race. There is a chance for the DA to leave a defining and powerful mark on liberal politics. BEE or an alternative framework is not a panacea. It will count for nothing if the economy generally is not fixed.

‘Thus, in the final analysis, we hope this alternative forms part of a comprehensive economic policy package. If the economy does not work, South Africa does not work, and, now more than ever, as the ANC continues to plunge SA into the economic abyss, we need an alternative that can pull the country back from the precipice.’

- The IRR’s own empowerment research and its alternative policy proposal – Economic Empowerment for the Disadvantaged (EED), crafted by Head of Policy Research Dr Anthea Jeffery – can be accessed here and here.

Statement issued by the IRR, 4 August 2018