Broad–based Black Economic Empowerment: 2004 – 2009
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Wits Business School
broad-based black economic empowerment
One of the most important black economic empowerment events of the period 2004 to 2009 was the promulgation of the Broad-based Black Economic Codes of Good Conduct (the Codes) in February 2007. In 2004, when the Broad-based Black Economic Empowerment (BBBEE) Act 2003 (the 2003 Act) was promulgated, it provided a legal framework on which to base fair and equitable participation in private sector organisations by the widest possible number of black South Africans. The 2003 Act was the culmination of a long debate and subsequent legislative process. According to the government, it was “but one of many government interventions to redress the economic imbalances that were the result of apartheid”. The purpose of the 2003 Act was “to put mechanisms in place to accelerate the entry of black people into the first economy”. Essential to the new legislation was the broad-based approach, which was the outcome of growing criticism that the previous approaches had been narrow in focus and had failed to sustain empowerment. The practice of putting ownership in the hands of only a few members of the black community was central to the government’s concerns. On the other hand, some in the business community considered the task of implementing black economic empowerment, as it stood prior to the 2003 Act, to be very onerous. There was a climate of growing concern about the narrow approach , and a growing resistance from some businesses.