Authors: Matthew Andrews
September 2007
John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University

Racial segregation has been South Africa’s primary and defining characteristic. Non-whites were seriously disadvantaged because of structures that limited their economic and social opportunities, leaving few from this vast group in the formal economy. Black Economic Empowerment (BEE and its more recent Broad Based version) is a policy intervention driven from the economic and industrial complex in government. Aimed directly at addressing the economy’s skewed racial profile, BEE calls the private sector to restructure itself and create opportunities for previously disadvantaged individuals (PDIs). The policy requires change to intra and inter-firm relational patterns of capital and control, personnel selection, promotion and development, supplier selection, enterprise development and social engagement.

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