I HATE BEE. Now, before you jump to any of the obvious conclusions, let me point out that I do not hate Black Economic Empowerment because it benefits a few black people. In fact, for that, I love it.
Come on, every black person knows it does not matter whether a black person earns R500 a month or R500000, each one of them will use their pay cheque to support in excess of five people. Money in black hands generally goes a long way.
So, for making those few black people rich, I love BEE. But I hate it for two reasons.
The first of these reasons is that BEE makes too many white people rich. We all know the formula. In a BEE transaction the black partner generally gets a smaller stake that he owes the white company owner for. So, when BEE contracts pay, making those few blacks some money, they make even more white partners even richer. For that I hate BEE.
That said, my biggest hatred for BEE is that it stems from and promotes black self-hate. Think about it. At the core of this stupid system we, as a country, are saying black people are useless unless they have a white partner to do a job! How horrible is that? I think we should do away with BEE as it stands and start giving contracts to purely black companies and black experts. I hope our government is listening.
I will never forget calling in on the awesome Tim Modise show on SAfm years back. Current Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe was being interviewed on the subject of BEE. I called in to ask how many of the ANC's actual contracts went to completely black companies. He took a while to answer, saying he did not have the figures in front of him. But I pressed him for an answer. Eventually he just blurted out the words "Come on Eric, you know our people are not ready".
I am sure Motlanthe does not believe this any longer. And I pray that this current dispensation will start showing a lot more faith in its people.
I know that our government's "people" includes every race, sex and creed in this country. But let's face it, the last group that needs an economic leg up right now is South Africa's whites.
On the other hand we black people need it the most. And since the biggest spender in any country, including ours, in any given year, is the government, our government must use its annual contracts to lift black South Africans specifically from the poverty we face on a daily basis 16 years after we put it in government.
So please, stop forcing us to marry hostile white companies that need the least economic help when we come to present our skills in order to win these contracts.
BEE as it is being practised today is a shame and the worst form of self-hate. We must change it. NOW!