BEE is not a free ride on the gravy train

IS BLACK Economic Empowerment a free ride to economic growth that most white people still benefit from?

IS BLACK Economic Empowerment a free ride to economic growth that most white people still benefit from?

The answer is a big no because if black people did not contribute to the growth and the development of South Africa's economy, this country would not have been where it is now.

Intellectuals tend to forget our past. They forget that certain jobs were reserved for white people and that the huge economic gap needed some form of regulation to be monitored. And that is were BEE came in.

Black people are not saying, please give us a free ride to economic white-dominated growth. What we are saying is that the laws that governed economic growth before our democracy were biased and not inclusive.

If the economic playing field was equally distributed in the past, then we would not be talking about BEE now. BEE was introduced to address the economic imbalances of the past. But in spite of the initiative, the damage had already been done and all those years of unequal and inferior schooling for black children contributed to so many of them being uneducated. However, despite their inferior or no education at all, black people still made an enormous contribution to the economic growth of South Africa.

Without this contribution from black people, the economy would not have been where it is today. Some of us still managed to pull through, in spite of being paid so little.

Those people who continue to maintain that BEE is merely a free economic ride for black people have never endured the political burden and the economic exploitation that black South Africans were forced to live through for decades.

Thomas Ramalivhana, Soweto

X