Namibia and Zimbabwe ease BEE requirements, but South Africa intensifies its own
It is outrageous that the South African Government is intensifying its BEE requirements while Namibia and Zimbabwe are relaxing their black ownership requirements. This is AfriBusiness’ view after Namibia’s President Hage Geingob’s announcement that his government would withdraw a 25% black ownership requirement for businesses there.
“It has been more than ten years since an international panel of economists, including respected Professor Daron Acemoglu, has recommended that the forced transferral of ownership to black people should be scrapped from South Africa’s BEE regulations. This forced give-away of shareholding in businesses is one of the most damaging aspects of BEE and one of the heaviest economical burdens in South Africa. This is supposedly done as correction, but in truth it actually harms the average black person and prevents the normalisation of the economy – despite good intentions,” says Piet le Roux, CEO of AfriBusiness.
Le Roux says that, with its BEE regulations the South African Government is busy to once again test an already-tested recipe for disaster with Rob Davies, Minister of Trade and Industry, who has just published proposed intensified BEE ownership requirements in the BEE codes. “The proposed codes discourage investment and will alienate businesses from the country even more,” Le Roux says.
“It is not only the Namibian Government who has just announced the scrapping of proposed ownership requirements; Zimbabwe has also granted similar relaxations to certain mining companies. And yet Minister Davies and the ANC still forge ahead on a road from which Namibia and Zimbabwe now retreat, and with good reason. It seems that the ANC and Davies have in fact learnt nothing and forgotten nothing,” Le Roux concludes.
The Department will await comments on the latest BEE codes until the end of May. AfriBusiness will publish its comments as soon as these are ready.
Statement issued by Piet le Roux, CEO, AfriBusiness, 13 April 2018