Does anyone who knows more about the South African economy than me have an opinion on this assessment by Roger Southall?
Many black capitalists have been brought on board the corporate bandwagon because of their political connections, not for their Weberian entrepreneurial ethic, so many BEE deals collapse into cronyism and corruption, who-you-know mattering more than what-you-know.
Meanwhile, corporate cynicism knows few bounds. Unbundled fragments are transferred to indebted black satraps, and black capitalist success hovers uneasily between dependence on state contracts and white corporate goodwill. Increasingly, too, large corporates are shifting major interests into private equity.
BEE remains a necessary political project. Leaving white capital to transform itself is like asking the devil to convert to Catholicism. But the challenges are immense: can a well-intentioned but under-capacitated state shape a socially responsible capitalism, or is BEE creating an avaricious class of black capitalists tied to the coattails of international capital?