Monday, May 24, 2010

Isn't it BEEutiful?

For those of you who do not know, BEE stands for Black Economic Empowerment, which is a South African program to ensure inclusion of previously disadvantaged categories of population of South Africa into the economy. One of the pillars of BEE (or BBBEE - Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment, since the narrow approach was criticized for focusing only on equity ownership) is Employment Equity (EE). EE requires all companies to report annually on their progress in terms of hiring black employees (by "black" we mean Asian, Black, Colored and Indians), females and people with disabilities. The BBBEE rating affects your ability to do business with other companies and the government. It makes sense. If I have a low rating (e.g. Level 5), by dealing with me your rating will go down as well, while if you choose a Level 3 contributor (for example), you will gain points. Thus, companies are more interested in ABCs (Asians, Blacks, Coloreds + Indians) than in Whites or (God forbid) - foreigners. Foreigners are categorized under the category "Others" and are generally sneered at by the SA Department of Labor.

Having given this preamble, how do you think I felt today when His Excellency SA Ambassador for Spain invited all the International MBA students to come and work in South Africa? At first I wanted to ask him again whether that was what he actually meant. However, as he progressed through his presentation, he mentioned that crime in South Africa is no longer a major issue, and 95% of crimes are domestic, so there is nothing to worry about for foreign visitors. At that point I realized that any further discourse would be at least unproductive.

Never liked politicians.


  1. So how did it make you feel? ;) Ksenia

  2. Actually, it made me feel good, as I caught myself thinking that a couple of years ago I would have been so upset and would engage into a debate, and now I just let it go, realizing that not all games must be played and not all games should be played by the rules of the rivals.



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