Empowerment on all fronts

Whatever happened to the idealism and spirit of fraternity that drove South Africa's liberation from apartheid?

Whatever happened to the idealism and spirit of fraternity that drove South Africa's liberation from apartheid?

We now live in a dog-eat-dog environment where the devil takes the hindmost. And in too many pseudo- black empowerment concerns those left firmly in the rear are the supposed beneficiaries.

The issue is called fronting. A company that would not qualify for BEE privileges finds itself black figureheads, willing or otherwise, who are nominally installed in positions of power.

But the business goes on its merry way enriching everyone but the supposedly freshly empowered black owners, directors, partners or staff.

By reason of greed or ignorance these fronts carry on accepting their minimal handouts but take little or no control of the venture.

Every one of these cynical attempts to fleece the system endangers the livelihoods of those entrepreneurs who expose themselves to the commercial risks of getting a BEE business off the ground.

No front can survive if the disempowered black participants spill the beans on the fraud, for that is what it is any way you look at it.

Those who front risk the reputation of true empowerment for the crumbs from the master's table spilt their way.

Empowerment was introduced to right the wrongs of the past. Nothing will change until each front is uncovered, preferably from within.

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