No easy fix to SA media money crisis
/ 19 July 2022

No easy fix to SA media money crisis

The closure of the New Frame, which sought to chase quality over clicks, is a cautionary tale of the pitfalls of donor funding

This content is restricted to subscribers only.

Join the M&G Community

Our commitment at the Mail & Guardian is to ensure every reader enjoys the finest experience. Join the M&G community and support us in delivering in-depth news to you consistently.

Subscription enables:

  • – M&G community membership
  • – independent journalism
  • – access to all premium articles & features
  • – a digital version of the weekly newspaper
  • – invites to subscriber-only events
  • – the opportunity to test new online features first

Already a subscriber?

The Covid-19 media survival guide
/ 20 December 2020

The Covid-19 media survival guide

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

No image available
/ 25 October 2007

Boon or curse?

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.

No image available
/ 8 October 2007

Lessons from Zimbabwe

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.

No image available
/ 17 September 2007

Sasol goes for broad-based BEE

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".

No image available
/ 10 September 2007

Platinum catalyst for Anglo

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.

No image available
/ 27 August 2007

BEE’s sharpest tool

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.

No image available
/ 31 July 2007

MTN’s shares: going for a song?

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.

No image available
/ 18 June 2007

An Esop’s fable?

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.

No image available
/ 4 June 2007

Streamlining BEE

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.

No image available
/ 21 May 2007

It’s BEE, but is it wholesome?

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

No image available
/ 19 March 2007

A broader view

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.

No image available
/ 19 March 2007

Buzzword bingo

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.

No image available
/ 16 March 2007

Where BEE damages

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.

No image available
/ 14 August 2006

The wheels are oiled

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.

No image available
/ 31 July 2006

BEEing Madame Lafarge

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.

No image available
/ 26 June 2006

SA’s lesson in humility

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.