Black Economic Empowerment Transactions in South Africa after 1994
This paper reviews the implementation of policies to deracialise ownership within the Top 50 JSE listed companies with a focus on mining and finance which accounted for 75% of black ownership within these companies at the end of December 2020. It looks at the context in which the policies were implemented – the performance of the economy and the restructuring of apartheid era conglomerates since 1994 that created opportunities for BEE companies. The paper then evaluates the three waves of BEE transactions over the past 27 years and the failures of the Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (B-BBEE) policy framework, which included the BEE Codes of Good Practice and sector charters in mining and finance. The paper discusses the confusing maze of statistics on black ownership and presents its own findings. The paper argues that prospects for further transformation of apartheid ownership structures are not good, with the economy likely to experience a second lost decade in terms of economic development until 2030, and due to policy design failures that have provided weak incentives for companies to enter into replacement BEE transactions.