The German Nuremberg Laws has a similarity to the South Africa Economic Empowerment (BEE) Law in many instances. Both laws bar certain ethnic groups from partaking in various civil services and limit their rights as property owners.
The Nüremberg laws is of the Nazis of Germany and part of this law barred Jewish and other groups from civil service, civilian work and the right to own land, homes or business. Jewish people were also denied access to public places and were not allowed to work as medical officers or educators.
The BEE law of South Africa is aimed at isolating white people from work in public places. Preference is to be given to black people, including colored and Indian ethnic groups. The BEE law is the African National Congress (ANC) determination to correct the injustices of apartheid and deliver a better standard of living to black groups of people.
Both the German law and the ANC law bar certain specific people from the job market, and ultimately land ownership. Business ownership by whites is now the new parameter to prevent the qualification for potential procurement if at least fifty percent of the company is not black owned. Each year the goal posts change and more and more laws are implemented to sideline white people from attaining a decent standard of living.
Perhaps the most harsh act of BEE is the rules applied to charities. Companies who donate to charities could not claim their contribution as part of a BEE claim if the donation was not given to black charities. The truth is white children, elderly, sick, and desperate people are now excluded from donations based on the color of their skin.
The BEE law is a great injustice, although it is a well devised plan for the black population, because the BEE serves more to give black people false hope. The hope that they will finally own the economy through the process of transfer, and, in fact, the only guarantee they will have is to be economic sideliners and slaves to capital.
It is a known fact that prior to 1994 the South African government excluded black, colored and indication people from participating in the economy of the country. Although, an effort was made to provide basic human rights in the form of hospitals, schools and work in many fields.
The BEE policies were originated by leading members of the South African Communist Party, Political Bureau and the South African Minister of Trade and Industry, Rob Davies, who returned to South Africa and worked under the Nelson Mandela government.
The BEE policy is not a moral initiative to redress the wrongs of apartheid. It is a practical strategy to realize the full potential of the country’s economic growth and to help the black majority gain a monopoly in the economic structure.
While BEE is a destabilizing factor for many white people, it is not affirmative action and can rectify inequalities to stabilize the political effect. On the other hand, it is the Employment Equity that is part of the requirements for the BEE requirements that present the biggest challenge. Employment equity is affirmative action in favor of black, colored and Indian people. It is here that whites are sidelined and not regarded as candidates for work.
It is understandable that for the economy to grow all people of South Africa should be included in a meaningful way and this should not mean a redistribution of wealth. While there are candidates that favor redistribution and land grab, that is not a solution. The entire BEE process must be done in a sustainable manner and implemented in stages that will show growth and not ruin.
The objective of BEE to make a significant difference to all ethnic groups must happen without corruption, intimidation and crime. It is useless to implement a law that will destroy the economy based on the fact of a person’s skin color. Irrespective of color, the independent skill and experience of a person should be a qualifying factor.
Looking back over the last twenty years of democracy, a full forensic audit and investigation into the employment structures in public places would give insight into the degrading, corrupt mismanagement that has occurred. While nepotism is also favored within the public service agencies, the burden on government to run efficient departments has deteriorated to such a severe state that destruction is inevitable.
The South Africa Black Economic Empowerment and the German Nüremberg laws might have similarities and are equally unfair. It is the South African BEE laws that continue to exert a new form of apartheid within its borders.
Opinion By Laura Oneale