South Africa

READER LETTER | SAA deal shows BEE was created for chosen few

BEE, through its originator and promoter, former president Thabo Mbeki, was sold to SA white capital and the gullible citizenry as a “business imperative to boost the black middle class” in its inaugural form.

However, it became an oppressive legislation not only to white people, but also those who are not anointed by the ANC.

A simple case study is when I wrote to Caterpillar (eventually unbundling itself from Barloworld), Michelin and Mubadala Petroleum to open their respective manufacturing plants within the Coega Special Economic Zone (SEZ) in the Eastern Cape, upon which they responded that BEE legislation would force them to make prescribed individuals directors therein, among other dictates. Hence that idea was a non-starter.

In a most recent case, instead of the department of public enterprises offering share ownership in the new SAA to the likes of Etihad Airways, Qantas, Lufthansa, KLM and/or Air France, it announced a 51% ownership by some obscure BEE consortium.

In the case of Etihad Airways, the company could have been persuaded to influence its parent company, Mubadala Development Agency, to speed up the forever-planned project Mthombo oil refinery in the Coega SEZ. This could have been done by  also roping in partners like PetroSA , Petrobras (Petroleum Brazil), Petronas (Petroleum Malaysia) and Gazprom (Petroleum Russia).

Maybe the BEE myopia is not designed to add value to the country and citizenry anyway, but to enrich and protect ANC anointees and associates.

Luyanda Marlon Kama
Kwa-Dwesi, Gqeberha

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