Black ownership of JSE at 24% - Solidarity

Johan Kruger says the share held by blacks, Coloureds and Indians has quintupled since 1993

Black ownership on JSE increased by 18% in 13 years - Solidarity study

Assumptions that black ownership on the JSE is only about 5%, are false, the trade union Solidarity said today. These findings emerged at the launch of the Solidarity Research Institute's (SRI) first SA Transformation Monitor (SAT Monitor) today. The research was done by independent researchers who had been commission by the SRI.

According to Johan Kruger, head of the Solidarity Research Institute, black ownership (i.e., ownership in the hands of black, coloured and Indian South Africans) on the JSE increased by about 18% in the past 13 years. Kruger emphasized that the increase in ownership showed that the implementation and execution of black economic empowerment (BEE) had already led to significant benefits for black South Africans.

"Black ownership on the JSE was at 23,8% in 2008, compared to the nearly 5% in 1993. In addition, the SAT Monitor shows that ownership is expected to increase to as much as 34% by 2012," Kruger explained.

The study investigates, among other things, black participation in and ownership of financial products such as investments, loans, life policies, annuities, pension funds, and medical and funeral policies. "Black participation in and ownership of these products is showing positive progress. For example, in 1993 black South Africans had only 28,2% ownership of medical insurance. This ownership had increased to 44,9% by 2007, while the ownership of annuities and pension funds had increased from 35,2% in 1993 to 47,4% in 2007," Kruger said.

As far as unit trusts are concerned, ownership is currently in the hands of nearly 1,59 million adults. Although unit trusts are still in the hands of a small elite group, the ownership is currently divided into 59% for whites and 41% for blacks. "However, in the nine years from 1993 to 2007 there was a 40% increase in the value of the trusts owned by blacks," according to Kruger.

A reliable standard for measuring the economic advancement of black South Africans is essential," Kruger explained. "There are people who believe that BEE should be implemented more intensively because the wellbeing of black South Africans has not really improved. However, certain groups believe that the implementation of BEE has already contributed more to the development and promotion of a black middleclass than is recognised. This is exactly why the Solidarity Research Institute decided to create the SAT Monitor, which will release monthly data on the economic contribution and participation of black South Africans," Kruger said.

The SAT Monitor will release data in the following categories: black ownership on the JSE or ownership of financial products; the public sector; bank accounts, savings accounts and credit cards; company registrations and ownership; training enrolments and levels; income; land ownership and mortgages in private and state ownership; management in the private sector; skilled occupations; professions; access to healthcare; and tertiary training.

Data from 1993 to 2008 was used in the study. The data will be released through the South African Transformation Index (SATI) on an annual basis as of March 2011.

"It is important to monitor the progress of transformation and the advancement of black South Africans in order to continuously determine whether the special measures instituted to ensure black economic empowerment still need to exist in South Africa," Kruger said. He maintained that the past has already taught South Africa an important lesson when it comes to the unfair advancement of certain citizens. "The unfair advancement of citizens and the unfair limitation of the rights of others, without any reasonable and acceptable justification, is a recipe for conflict."

Statement issued by Solidarity, March 18 2010

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