Business Impact of the Black Economic Empowerment in South Africa: A Critical Review of Four Case Studies
The majority blacks in South Africa were systematically excluded from meaningful participation in the economic life of the country during the apartheid era from 1948 to 1994. More specifically, the blacks were deprived of ownership in industrial firms and denied responsible positions in the private as well as the public sectors. To address this injustice, the South African government introduced the policy of Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) in the aftermath of the collapse of the apartheid regime in 1994. This paper investigates the impact of the BEE policy on the businesses in South Africa by reviewing four case studies. The companies covered in three of the four case studies and 500 managers surveyed in the fourth reported different challenges in implementing BEE while at the same a number of commonalities were also found. This paper concludes with a discussion of the challenges and commonalities in implementing BEE in South Africa.
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