Black Empowerment in South Africa - a Corporate Black Wash
Abstract This article triangulates data to show that black empowerment in top business is not happening. Black empowerment (defined in this context as initiatives to give the black community access to corporate ownership and management roles) has made little impact in South Africa since 1994. The sample of three black empowerment companies and five top South African companies shows that top business remains predominantly white, with few signs of black integration into ownership or management. The failure of black empowerment was ensured when the African National Congress government failed to nationalise key industries (as the Afrikaner National Party did in 1948) or even to bolster its parastatals (government organizations) enough to build a strong black middle class. The ANC could not overcome its fear of white-capital-flight (a flight that happened anyway) and withstand the pressure from economic liberals. The Growth, Employment and Redistribution (GEAR) program is the tragic result of this fear.
PRE2009-Other Policy and Political Science