Okechukwu C. This article explores this question by analysing local and foreign capital's compliance with the South African government's policy of seeking to transfer 25—30 percent of equity and management in white-owned companies to blacks in all sectors of the economy by This is part of government's overall policy of black economic empowerment BEE to foster the emergence of a black capital-owning class. Although the BEE policy is non-prescriptive and exempts small businesses with an annual turnover of R5 million or less, it has now become a critical element of investment decisions in most sectors of the country's economy.
According to Tony Leon, the former leader of the opposition Democratic Alliance DA party, BEE not only contradicts the ANC's and the Constitution's guarantee of non-racial citizenship for all South Africans, but also hinders the flow of foreign direct investment. The Mixed race women 12740 seeking regime that took over in had no experience in governing; instead, it had a history of socialist rhetoric, including threatened nationalization of the economy and radical redistribution of land. Few, if any, similarly situated governments have dared challenge capital so boldly beyond normal regulatory practices, let alone apparently co-opting large segments of big business as allies in this coerced redistribution programme.
I argue that while globalization clearly constrains or weakens state regulation of markets and implementation of redistributive policies by subjecting states to competition with other states for economic goods available from capital, global integration equally exerts tremendous pressures on capital to accept some state intervention, especially if such action advances the pecuniary interests of capital as well.
Since not all segments of capital have complied with BEE, I also attempt an explanation of cases of non-compliance. According to this view, policy making is now driven primarily by global pressures that may have little to do with, if they do not flatly contradict, domestic considerations.
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Consequently, they are willing to accept some state intervention or compromise, especially if such action advances the interests of capital as well. Capital nonetheless remains critical to the actualization of state regulation especially redistribution of wealthhence it cannot easily be dispensed with — just as capital is now better able to reproduce itself within a national formation under heightened globalization.
Through the strategy of selective mobilization, the state granted resources to those segments of society that are going to make fewer demands on government, or those that already benefit from their special relationships with the state. Business initially co-opted a few politically connected black business people and structured their own version of BEE programmes to pre-empt future populist anti-business policies. Consequently, BEE was bound to be a highly contested policy that rested on a fragile alliance from the outset. Finally, the use of public institutions to selectively mobilize and purchase support from segments of the society sympathetic to government is a long-standing South African state tradition.
Having a good BEE score becomes almost as necessary as having a business card.
The foregoing shows that BEE policy seeks much more than equity ownership or management for blacks. Space limitations preclude a comprehensive analysis here of the corporate compliance record in all aspects of BEE. As the programmes mature and data become available, more specific analysis of BEE compliance in specific sectors of the economy can be expected. Table 1 lists some of the BEE sector empowerment charters adopted or implemented since The BusinessMap Foundation, the Johannesburg-based premier think-tank that monitors BEE policy, estimates that corporate South Africa may have transferred up to R billion from tothrough corporate BEE deals including unreported transferswith about R83 billion in alone.
The Department of Trade and Industry DTIin a November parliamentary briefing, claimed that since about 55 percent of the top 40 companies had negotiated BEE transactions involving more than 10 percent of assets or equity; while at least 10 percent of the top 40 companies had entered into a BEE transaction involving more than 25 percent of assets.
The ratings company expects the of BEE transactions to remain strong in the medium term, and forecasts that 52 percent of South Africa's privately held businesses would experience BEE-related change in ownership in the next 10 years. Government policy will ensure it. Despite this flurry of activities, BEE has always been a terrain of passionate but extremely sensitive contestation, and means different things to different constituencies.
While many business people's attitudes towards BEE are influenced by the ghost of Zimbabwe, such rationalizations fail to recognize how globalization has exacerbated the collective action problems of sectoral business groups competing for access to state patronage. The South African central state is a major consumer of global goods and services worth over R billion annually and has assets worth R billion. Inthe government inaugurated a Rbillion infrastructure investment programme targeting 6—7 percent economic growth levels by as part of its Accelerated and Shared Growth Initiative of South Africa AsgiSA scheme.
In Gauteng Province the main hub of South Africa's corporate capital73 percent of respondents reported that BEE was an issue in winning business, followed by 72 percent in Durban, 67 percent in Cape Town, and 59 percent in East London and Port Elizabeth combined. About 91 percent of business owners in the construction sector indicated that their BEE status was having a ificant impact on gaining new clients up from 72 percent in This was also true of 69 percent of business owners in the retail sector 54 percent in78 percent in the service industry 71 percent inand 56 percent in manufacturing 51 percent in They have also Mixed race women 12740 seeking tasked with spending half of the state's R billion infrastructure budget noted above, which has since become a magnet for many TNCs.
Over the past seven years, they have largely succeeded in recruiting some of the world's major TNCs to enforce these BEE charter requirements.
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We explore these dynamic relationships in detail below, at both industry and firm levels, in the mining and manufacturing sectors. The energy and mining sectors are two of the most heavily subsidized and protected sectors of the economy.
Since the government has used its power over these sectors to force white capital to either embrace BEE or face liberalization. The threat of liberalization also assured the passage of the Minerals and Petroleum Development Act of The Act has since returned private mineral rights to the state for the benefit, and on behalf, of all the people in South Africa, as is the norm worldwide. Under that law, companies must apply to convert their old mining rights to the new regime, provided they have 15 percent BEE compliance by and 25 percent by They also took measures to increase black control of the industry to 14 percent, while their share of operating profits increased to 11 percent by year's end.
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Few sectors of the South African economy come as close to state dependency as the automobile manufacturing industry. These companies made more than 1, car variants, plus many more trucks and commercial vehicles totalling aboutvehicles a mere 0. BEE compliance in this sector rests on blatant government protection and massive subsidies that recently became a subject of complaint at the World Trade Organization by rival car makers in other countries, notably Australia.
The rebate is currently estimated to be worth 82 percent of the export value of auto manufactures, or about R90 billion. The MIDP has led to reduced tariff protection and encouraged exports as a way to create a globally competitive industry able to sustain jobs and provide affordable cars to the rising black middle class. Although the programme is credited with turning the country's motor industry from a virtual basket case under apartheid into a successful niche world player, recently the MIDP subsidies have come under scathing attack.
Inthe Department of Trade and Industry estimated that the industry ran up a trade deficit of more than R billion between andresulting in domestic consumers actually subsidizing not only vehicles for the local market but also exports. NAAMSA and its members therefore have a strategic interest in supporting the BEE programme through the granting of dealerships to blacks, the transfer of equity, and t ventures in businesses such as the sourcing of parts — even though the sector has yet to adopt a formal empowerment charter of its own.
Capital and BEE policy compliance at the level of the firm : Firm-level support for BEE has followed a similar logic of strategic interest calculations. Eskom, South Africa's national electricity provider and the world's fourth-largest power company, illustrates Mixed race women 12740 seeking capital—state interest convergence because its BEE strategy and affirmative procurement spending is the most pervasive among the country's public sector corporations.
Between andthe utility spent more than R29 billion with BEE companies, much of this with over 9, small and medium enterprises, including buying coal from black-owned mines. Eskom has successfully persuaded some of the world's largest industrial companies to sell equity in their South African operations to BEE firms in order to remain suppliers to Eskom.
France's Alstom Corporation went further, selling 42 percent of its R2 billion-plus South Africa business to two empowerment groups.
Siemens Corporation of Germany similarly sold a 26 percent stake ly partly owned by the percent state-owned Industrial Development Corporation to BEE companies in Upon completion inthe project will further integrate hydropower produced at the Cahora Bassa dam in Mozambique with the grid in South Africa, where electricity is mainly produced by coal-burning thermal power plants. That contract was reportedly the largest order for transmission circuit breakers ever received by ABB.
In order to meet its BEE requirements, Taihan, with Telkom's encouragement, created a local BEE company called Malisela Technologies which is 49 percent held by Taihan and 51 percent by local black investors to manufacture fibre optic cables in South Africa for Telkom, instead of importing them from Malaysia.
Obviously, Taihan did not want to lose access to Telkom's annual procurement spending of at least R10 billion, plus its R84 billion infrastructure budget for —9. At Transnet the state-owned transport conglomeratemore than R4.
The Airports Company of South Africa part of the Transnet stable spends almost 50 percent of its substantial capital expenditure programme with BEE suppliers, while more than half of its managerial team is black. While the corporation disapproved of apartheid, it accommodated and cooperated with the regime — even under international sanctions — and benefited from its protectionist, corrupt, and racist policies and patronage. Anglo American, nonetheless, came under pressure from South Africa's Department of Minerals and Energy in for failing to be truly BEE-compliant, and therefore did not receive its new order mining rights.
These empowerment deals finally put Anglo American at or above the required BEE ownership requirements by The pressure on Anglo American intensified when its rivals, South Africa-based Lonmin Plc and UK-based Aquarius Mining, received their new mining rights in amid skyrocketing prices for platinum and other metals on the world market. The remaining Lonmin also sought to repair years of strained relations with the black community surrounding its mines, further complicated by the company's plans to trim its Mixed race women 12740 seeking of 20, — 95 percent of whom are black — by 20 percent.
The primary factor in BEE compliance seems to be the extent of government's leverage over a given set of market forces. Retailers are not large suppliers to the state, and consumers will shop wherever they get the best product at the best price, irrespective of who owns the stores. Retailers themselves are fragmented, with a few such as Woolworths and Foschini adopting their own versions of BEE, instead of engaging in confrontation with the government.
In a string of companies — Anglo Platinum, BHP Billiton and Anglo Coal — took legal action against the government, following the decision of the Department of Minerals and Energy to reject their applications for new order prospecting rights, while accepting the Lonmin application.
Perhaps the most interesting case alleging expropriation of mineral rights by government was filed in by Italian investors in Marlin and Red Graniti corporations, which controls much of South Africa's granite industry.
The case, which is slated for arbitration in the International Centre for the Settlement of Investment Disputes part of the World Bankwas brought in terms of South Africa's bilateral trade treaties with the governments of Italy, Luxembourg and Belgium which protect the rights of investors from those countries operating in South Africa. Inan earlier draft of the Minerals and Petroleum Development Act ofsuggesting 50 percent control of the sector for blacks bywas leaked to the press. The panic generated by the leak resulted in foreign capital outflow of about R22 billion and wiped about R56 billion off the value of South Africa's leading mining stocks on the JSE in two days.
The state has made ificant concessions to business by reducing several of the proposed royalty rates, the key ones being diamonds down from 8 percent to 5 percentrefined platinum from 4 percent to 3 percent; unrefined platinum was pegged at 6 percentand refined gold from 3 percent to 1.
Indeed, since South Africa's mining sector could not have been more attractive for investors FDI and portfolio given the skyrocketing global price of metals and the huge profits generated by the sector over the past five years.
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Xstrata had earlier in ed a R2. In Aprilthe company announced that it would no longer lodge claims for compensation against the government and neither would its associates and subsidiaries, including Anglo Platinum, Anglo Coal, and De Beers. De Beers also agreed to set up a black-run diamond firm in conjunction with state mining group, Alexkorgiving the state 20 percent equity.
Many emerging market TNCs have adopted this strategy to gain access to the global capital market and finance their global expansion, while retaining strong links to their home countries.
Limited space precludes discussion of other industrial sectors, such as information and computer technology, where many TNCs supported by the United States and some European governments have successfully opposed the BEE policy, remained indifferent to it, or forced the government to exempt foreign companies from having to sell a 25 percent stake in their local operations to black business.
Instead, the TNCs and their subsidiaries agreed to invest a sum equivalent to the value of their stake in other areas, including skills training and social development. Indeed, this aspect of BEE is crying out for further research in view of the fact that several southern African countries are in the process of introducing similar measures. Does action against BEE produce private benefits or generate public goods? If the latter, firms face little incentive to invoke their rights in the legal system. Under apartheid, many companies made similar accommodations with the regime, just as capital is currently doing in the face of renewed hurdles against FDI around the world.
The politics of BEE in South Africa, especially the sector empowerment charters that compel business to transfer 25—50 percent of ownership and management to blacks byprovides a platform to reappraise state—capital relations and their implications for democracy in the era of heightened globalization. The compliance record of local and foreign business with this unusual wealth redistribution policy demonstrates that while globalization surely limits the scope of redistributive policies, it does not render the state completely powerless.
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Globalization equally puts tremendous pressure on some market players to accept BEE as a form of state regulation of the market that adds value to their bottom line. Furthermore, a weak government and a fragmented business, both buffeted by domestic and international constraints, have continued to exchange favours through the mechanism of formal and informal neo-corporatist and patron—client relationships in order to advance their mutual interests.
Finally, despite the deafening and at times deserved criticisms against BEE, it has not resulted in economic decline. The economy has instead grown faster with every phase of more forceful implementation of the policy, especially sincereinforcing the claim that redistribution does not necessarily preclude economic growth. Albert O. A1, A8. Thomas A.