Despite the best of intentions, South Africa’s Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) scheme has largely been a failure, says Capitec’s chief executive officer (CEO), Gerrie Fourie.
Speaking in an interview with 702, Fourie said that this is because the system has only helped a select few.
“If you look at BEE in totality in South Africa, it hasn’t worked because it should be there to help all South Africans and, unfortunately, it has only helped a couple of people. I think that is something we need to work on.
“There is also an attitude in South Africa that we need to work on that says ‘what can I do?’ rather than (focusing on) entitlement. I think that’s quite crucial for our culture going forward.”
When asked about what advice he would give to President Cyril Ramaphosa, he said that the country should focus on three main points:
- Growth – Each and every person in South Africa should focus on growing and creating jobs;
- Execution – The second one is to execute. It is quite nice talking about things but the execution is critical because when you execute, you learn and you see what works.
- Positivity – Let’s be positive and look a the opportunities (within South Africa).
Fourie’s comments follow a renewed push to enforce transformation in South Africa.
Minister of Employment and Labour, Thulas Nxesi, says that his department plans to introduce harsh measures against employers who do not meet employment equity targets.
In August, Nxesi expressed concern at the slow pace of workplace transformation and promised that government will now introduce new legislation to remedy these issues.
Answering in a recent parliamentary Q&A session, Nxesi said that the incoming Employment Equity Amendment Bill will expedite the pace of transformation and address non-compliance with the requirements of the Employment Equity Act (EEA).
He added that this new bill will likely be tabled in parliament for deliberation before the end of this year.
Nxesi said that these changes will serve as punishments to non-compliant businesses in two main ways:
- All organisations that are deemed non-compliant will no longer be able to reap the financial benefits of doing business with the state;
- Even non-compliant organisations that do not necessarily depend on state contracts for their business will still have to face consequences by being referred to the Labour Court for a penalty to be levied against them.