ANC’s senseless defense of BEE exposes it only cares about empowerment of cadres – Jan de Villiers

DA MP says these practices of elite enrichment keep our people hungry, unemployed and poor

ANC’s senseless defense of BEE exposes it only cares about empowerment of cadres

15 September 2022

Note to editors: Please find attached soundbite by Jan de Villiers MP

Yesterday, the Small Business Development (SBD) portfolio committee meeting bore witness to another desperate defense of the indefensible BEE regulations by ANC MPs, who emotionally defended this elite cadre enrichment scheme that is masked as Black Economic Empowerment.

The SBD committee heard an inspiring presentation from the W&R (Wholesale & Retail) SETA, a 3A public entity of the Department of Higher Education & Training. The W&R SETA’s mandate is skills development in the wholesale and retail sector, through grants for learning programs targeting SMME owners and their employees.

Programs like these present real empowerment, as they seek to upskill people in a country where we have a devastating unemployment rate, as opposed to BEE, which has clearly only enriched a black elite of cadres who care little for the empowerment of the poor and unemployed. The metrics are simple, in almost 30 years of enforced BEE regulations, poverty, unemployment and inequality have grown, much like the bellies of BEE empowered partners and their ANC cadres.

To no real surprise, the ANC members of the committee saw these comments as a very personal attack, one went as far as saying that it was disrespectful towards black people and represented “the narrow interests of whites.” This type of defense for BEE exposes the heart of the ANCs desperate attempt to defend BEE as a policy instrument.

My comments were clear in its approval of broad based empowerment through education and skills development and disapproval of current BEE laws that only empower an already black elite. To view these comments as disrespectful towards all black people demonstrates repeatedly what the ANC cares about and how they define Black Empowerment, viewed through the lens of enriching themselves.

The senseless defense of BEE exhibited another chapter of promoting the narrow interest of the elite BEE tenderpreneurs, BEE employment partners and their ANC cadres. The ANC does not care and will never implement true empowerment of the poor and unemployed, because whilst BEE practices keeps our people hungry, unemployed and poor, BEE fat cats and corporations get to fill their bellies and wallets as their interests expand under the sham that is BEE.

Issued by Jan de Villiers, DA Shadow Minister of Small Business Development, 15 September 2022