The bid by Koni Media to buy Avusa, formerly Johncom, has highlighted a long-time BEE fascination with newspapers. From a business point of view, there are other lucrative and less troublesome areas for investment and BEE investors need cash flow to pay back the money they have raised, writes Reg Rumney.
BEE charters and the broad-based BEE codes of good practice might move corporate social investment (CSI) into the boardroom as a serious subject of discussion. The codes represent a kind of supercharter, with which all charters will have to be "aligned". Industries and businesses are scored according to a balanced scorecard with seven elements, of which socio-economic development or CSI is one.
Our northern neighbour is in the process of passing an "empowerment Bill" to force transfer of the majority stake in private companies to black Zimbabweans. Though this is indigenisation rather than empowerment in the South African sense, it raises interesting parallels with South Africa's draft Mining Charter, which led to the outflow of billions of rand in foreign investment.
The new-look Anglo American Corporation was very much on display at the announcement last week of one of two of the biggest black economic empowerment deals in South African mining -- and a real advance for black ownership of platinum reserves.
Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) ownership deals get the most attention, but their capacity to change the racial bias in the South African economy seems to be limited. Preferential procurement, however, is the sharpest tool in government's transformation armoury. But it could also increase corruption and cronyism, writes Reg Rumney.
National Empowerment Fund chief executive Philisiwe Buthelezi has described the fund's offer of discounted shares in MTN as "unique, exciting and historic". There have been other retail offerings reserved exclusively for black people over the years, most recently Telkom's Khulisa scheme.