Thursday, April 28, 2005


South Africa Economic Upliftment programme vs BEE alone

Black Economic Empowerment in South Africa - another way?.

BEE in South Africa. This is a system which has its grounding in apartheid. The idea behind it is essentially good. It is all about correcting the unjust actions of the previous government.

However if we think like the previous government in correcting anything - are we any different?

Some of the main challenges, as I seem them, are:

* BEE is not being implemented correctly.
* It opens the door for xenophobic and prejudiced business decisions.
* It is as divisive, isolatory and as patently unjust, as the apartheid system.
* It limits the possibilities for small businesses - which economic development contribution should be built not alienated, or limited.
* It keeps the skills of "pale" South Africans abroad and will continue to denuded our country of that group's particular skills.
* There is no "sunset clause". How long must the above group be kept way from the harvest, before they too become fully functional and entitled South Africans?
* We will be as harshly judged by our children for "letting it happen", as we are now for the legacies of apartheid.

There are many more important challenges and I am sure that contributors could fill a book on them. However it is important that we look at new and different options. Ways that include all of our country's people, their aspirations and their skills.

Let's start by changing the name of this well-meaning Act. Let's call it the RSA Economic Upliftment Act. Although an Africa Economic Upliftment Act would not be out of order. It further reduces the Xenophia.

Some of the issues that can be handled within the act are:

* Firstly, let us focus on growing the cake. Not merely divide it differently.
* Pay companies bonuses for out-of-Africa contracts.
* Get dti to fund sellers of Intellectual property, as much as they fund manufacturers.
* BEE - is an important issue. We must involve as many people as possible and reduce the daily threat of poverty faced by millions of South Africans.
* Small business uplifment - critical and must include all people, regardless of race, colour, political affiliation, religion, physical challenges or sexual orientation.
* Women Economic Upliftment is another focus. * Opportunity creation. As many opportunities as possible must be outside of the country.
* Make it easy for South African web-based businesses to make sales on the net. (For example; we cannot sell through PayPal and WorldPay. How on earth can we easily and creditably access the big money of the World?)
* Practical skills base development - through the return of expatriates who want to be a part of the future. And through focused mentorships from specialists, local and international.
* Cross-purchasing and selling into our country and into Africa. etc.

Once we have changed the name of Act, and therefore the limited focus of the BEE programme, we will need to put in place the people, organisations and time-based action plans to create:

* A bigger economy
* An un-prejudiced small business economical upliftment plan
* And a BEE plan that actually has ALL South Africans on board - because they must be part of the solution, part of the future and not excluded on the basis of their race.
* And we can start bringing our expats home to the country they love and to the country where they too are welcome, to share in the wealth and wonders, as fully entitled South Africans.

I would love to debate this with leaders of small business in RSA and with Clem Sunter - as a visionary strategist and people like Jeff Radebe and Trevor Manuel.
And with the positive input of our various and multi-talented South Africans, we could work out a very effective and simple framework to be presented to Government, as an effective alternative to what we now have.

Our country would boom!

Please add your positive input. Put in some relevant issues that can make a plan like this work.

Let's not fall into the lonely hole of negativity. Make your answers to this post a powerful and exciting contribuiton to our future!

I am excited to start!

"At the level of respect all people are equal!"

Mthimkhulu International - Corporate ConsultantsTransformational Teambuilding and Diversity Specialists

Office phone: +27 (0)31 2053668 Have Passports - will travel!

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