The closure of the New Frame, which sought to chase quality over clicks, is a cautionary tale of the pitfalls of donor funding
The pandemic hit journalists hard when credible news was most vital. The M&G spoke to newsroom leaders, researchers and stakeholders, who said the only way to sustain the industry is by investing in quality journalism
Mvela group’s offer to buy media firm has sparked fears of greater political interference, writes Reg Rumney.
Media companies make headlines with their poor scores in BEE ownership, writes <b>Reg Rumney</b>
Ownership targets still trump other aspects of transformation, which could remove the advantages for small business.
It was unfortunate that BEE was seen as a matter of compliance rather than as a strategic issue, and the
compliance mindset needs to change.
There’s merit in Angloplat’s role in blocking the sale to Impala.
The government’s resentment is not only about ownership but also about control, whatever that means.
Defining black ownership is a complex business, as the JSE’s contradictory figures have shown.
Arcelor deals might be legal and even in line with
‘old-fashioned’ BEE practices, so why the fuss?
The formerly disadvantaged will be able to pick up shares at an 80% discount.
The company illustrates the poor record of parastatals in black economic empowerment at the ownership level.
The company’s black workers and trusts are the
beneficiaries in a vendor-financed scheme that sees
them getting a 25% share of the company.
A new MTN deal lights a spark of hope that all the big BEE transactions may not be over yet.
The value of black empowerment deals this year so far, is less than half that of 2008.
One big difference between the Vodacom retail offering and that of Sasol is that there is no option to buy shares outright for cash.
It had to be pushed by government, but the company shows the way empowerment is going, 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.
Sasol’s R18-billion BEE transaction, announced this week, is another step in the toenadering between the synthetic fuel and chemicals producer and government. This is the biggest BEE transaction (until the next one comes along). It marks a new stage of atonement for Sasol’s remark in its statutory filings for the New York Stock Exchange that BEE was a "risk".
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.
Never look a gift horse in the mouth. Unless it comes from the Greeks who have been besieging your citadel of Troy. As they say, <i>Timeo Danaos et dona ferentes</i> (beware of Greeks bearing gifts). I mention this because, as a professional sceptic, I am duty-bound to look at the downside of even the worthiest corporate schemes, writes Reg Rumney.
Now that the Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment Codes have taken over the job of encouraging companies to implement affirmative action, the Employment Equity Act should be scrapped. With it should go the Commission for Employment Equity.
It amuses me that we commentators, analysts and consultants pore over the Broad-Based BEE Codes like technicians studying the manual of a motor vehicle to see how best to make it go. Then along comes a saga like the Holcim empowerment deal to remind us how profoundly political BEE is. Whatever codes and charters say, BEE is not a mere technical matter
What lies ahead this year in the area of corporate social responsibility (CSR), which concerns business and its role in society, and corporate social investment (CSI), which refers to the grant-making or corporate giving aspect of CSR? BEE will at once make both CSR and CSI more problematic, but also present new opportunities, this year as the BEE Codes of Good Practice start to filter through business.
Ralph Hamann, senior researcher at the University of Cape Town’s environmental evaluation unit, takes a broader view of corporate social responsibility, bringing in international trends. He sketches a number of new issues. “The international investment community is really developing a lot of steam on sustainability issues, especially climate change.
Can it be that black economic empowerment (BEE), coupled with affirmative action, is retarding African entrepreneurship — and ironically spurring white people to take the plunge into running their own businesses? Let’s be clear that entrepreneurship here entails innovation and risk-taking and contributes to economic development rather than being simply the art of spotting a gap, writes Reg Rumney.
Sasol’s black economic empowerment deal, announced in June, marks the end of a phase in the Liquid Fuels Charter. All the major oil firms are "empowered" in the sense of having structured financial transactions that should see black people owning 25% of the liquid fuels industry by 2010.
When the De Beers black economic empowerment deal was announced last year, Cheryl Carolus could be described as not being "one of the usual suspects". Not now. In a short time Carolus, former ambassador to London and darling of those nostalgic for the optimistic non-racialism of the United Democratic Front, has become a firm BEE favourite.
The biggest black economic empowerment deal of the year may not even be a deal. And it may not even be that big in monetary terms. Yet its implications are huge. In February, IBM announced it would add 900 jobs to the 500 it already has at its South African call centre.