Democratic Alliance (DA) leader Mmusi Maimane says the African National Congress (ANC)’s model of black economic empowerment has failed to benefit most South Africans but instead has disempowered many.
The party has been vocal about its intentions to abolish the programme once it comes into power.
Maimane says that BEE has failed to address the injustices of South Africa’s past.
“If it doesn’t work, on the other hand, it perpetuates a situation where 25 years on, we still have to say race is a proxy for the disadvantaged; we still have to recognise that it is black South Africans that are left out. So, I think we’ll get there but we’re not there yet.”
He says the current model of the programme is only benefitting a select few.
“It produced, in many ways, the Guptas. I want the BEE that works for all South Africans; a BEE that includes more people. I want more black South Africans, more black students to be able to benefit.
“While you and I are busy trying to have a debate about whether we should give shares to Gwede Mantashe and his politically connected people, South Africans are being left out.”
In 2018, the DA tried to clarify its position on Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment.
It said its economic policy will focus on empowering black people, but it will rely less on race as criteria.
Earlier in 2018, the party leaders made public their disagreement on the policy, with some claiming that it was ditched.
The party said it unreservedly supports the goal of economically empowering black South Africans who are currently left out of the economy.
The DA said that no policy can negate that race still remains a proxy for disadvantaged South Africans.
Following public disagreements on the party’s stance on the empowerment policy, the party said that all party leaders should rally behind the decision.
The DA said that as it builds one South Africa for all, they will rely less on race as the inequality gap closes in the country.