The funding of black economic empowerment in South Africa

Phillips, Natalie Emma (2004-12)

Thesis (MA)--University of Stellenbosch, 2004.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: This study considers Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) in South Africa, and in particular, the various funding structures of Black Economic Empowerment transactions. Whilst these structures have a variety of forms, past experience has suggested some fundamental problems with the actual funding sources and structures. Various definitions and interpretations of Black Economic Empowerment within the context of this paper are discussed. Two BEE strategies are identified, one of which namely, the creation of a broader, more sustainable group of black entrepreneurs for South Africa will be the focus of this paper. The issue of entrepreneurial empowerment will remain an ongoing theme throughout all chapters in this paper. The second BEE strategy, namely, poverty alleviation and employment creation is only briefly discussed although its importance is not underestimated. From the study it is concluded that BEE ought not be a strategy aimed at the enrichment of a select group of black elite. Lessons learnt from past failures are also highlighted. A historical analysis of the provision of funding to historically disadvantaged people (HDP)1 in South Africa is presented. The theme of inequality in providing access to finance for black entrepreneurs and small businesses is looked at in this context. The historical analysis starts with the early years in South Africa and then focuses on the period 1990 – 1999. This report also provides a critical assessment of some of the biggest shortcomings of the pyramid structures and complex financial engineering of the first attempts of Black Economic Empowerment in the narrow sense of the word. It is established that the Special Purpose Vehicle funding structures of the late 1990s were a failure. Further, this study looks at current financing options and possible solutions. Some recent examples are also provided of BEE funding structures which seem to have worked. Traditional government institutions such as the Industrial Development Corporation, in particular, have also come a long way in developing more viable funding in transactions with BEE companies. It is also noted that recent alternative financing structures by the private sector are addressing some of the key challenges of BEE such as ownership, control and the promotion of sustainable black businesses for the transformed South African economic landscape going forward. However, many obstacles remain with the potential sources of funding of BEE such as traditional banks and life assurers in South Africa who are still not more accessible to the poor. Fundamental problems have also been identified in the analysis of the Development Finance Institutions (DFIs) of government such as the National Empowerment Fund, Khula Enterprises and the Land Bank which are also anticipated to play a crucial role in the provision of financing for BEE over the coming years. This study highlights the significant cost involved with the implementation of the BEE strategies. The single biggest challenge to the economic empowerment of the previously disadvantaged is access to funding. About the need for broad-based Black Economic Empowerment in South Africa, there is no dispute. But it is important that these costs are weighed against other sustainable development objectives. The private sector often seems to see BEE as a cost rather than an opportunity. But while the shortcomings of numerous empowerment initiatives, exacerbated by the 1998 stock market crash, may have caused the financial sector to get cold feet about these transactions, the sector can come up with some creative options that go beyond old problems. Therefore, the future role of government financed institutions together with the private sector remains critical in ensuring that these objectives are met. In conclusion, the discussion on the funding of Black Economic Empowerment in South Africa must be seen within the context of the political and economic landscape of the 1900s and then in particular, the history of the past ten years. Narrowly defined black economic empowerment has gained significant momentum in recent years due to the economic restructuring of the business sector which has been propelled by recent government legislation such as the Mining Charter, the Black Economic Empowerment Commission’s recommendations, the Department of Trade and Industry’s discussion documents and other legislation currently in the pipeline. However, the economic landscape still looks bleak. Real economic growth has been inadequate since large parts of our population are still unemployed. A significant hurdle still facing our economy is the high degree of wealth inequality that exists. It is within this context that one should assess the many policy and funding initiatives that have been taken and the strategies proposed to redress historical imbalances in the country. The paper itself is comprised of six parts. This executive summary only serves to provide a brief overview of the various areas covered in this study. Chapter One analyses the various definitions of the term Black Economic Empowerment, their relevance and the development of BEE in South Africa over the years. This leads to a discussion in Chapter Two on the problem statement, being the funding of BEE. Chapter Three is divided into seven sub-sections and provides a historical analysis of the funding obstacles facing black people since the early 1900s, then looks at developments of BEE since the early 1990s with a critical assessment of the failures of empowerment and the funding structures utilized during this period. Chapter Three also identifies various similarities and lessons learnt from examples of empowerment experiences in other countries. Chapter Four looks at the estimated size of the funding requirement and current sources of financing from the private and public sector. Certain conclusions are drawn from this overview. Chapter Five looks at the major risks facing the impact of BEE and the financing thereof in the future. Chapter Five also applies the criteria for appropriate funding of BEE to a recent BEE transaction in the form of a case study. Some possible solutions are also put forward in this section of the analysis. Chapter Six summarises and concludes. 1 Note that HDP incorporates all disadvantaged groupings such as the Black, Indian, Coloured populations of South Africa. In historical terms it also includes the various tribes that existed in South Africa during the early years as well as those who were slaves. Africa during the early years as well as those who were slaves.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Hierdie studie ondersoek Swart Ekonomiese Bemagtiging (SEB) in Suid-Afrika, en in die besonder die verskillende befondsingstrukture van Swart Ekonomiese Bemagtigingstransaksies. Hoewel hierdie strukture ’n verskeidenheid vorms mag hê, het ondervinding getoon dat daar wesentlike probleme is wat die werklike befondsingsbronne en -strukture betref. Verskillende definisies en vertolkings van Swart Ekonomiese Bemagtiging binne die konteks van hierdie verhandeling word bespreek. Twee SEB-strategieë word geïdentifiseer, waarvan een, naamlik die daarstelling van ’n meer omvattende en meer volhoubare groep swart entrepreneurs vir Suid-Afrika, die fokuspunt van hierdie verhandeling sal wees. Die vraagstuk van entrepreneuriale bemagtiging sal ’n deurlopende tema in alle hoofstukke van hierdie verhandeling bly. Die tweede SEBstrategie, naamlik armoedeverligting en werkskepping word slegs vlugtig bespreek, alhoewel die belang daarvan nie onderskat word nie. ’n Gevolgtrekking van die studie is dat SEB nie ’n strategie behoort te wees wat op die verryking van ’n uitgesoekte swart elite-groep gerig is nie. Lesse wat uit mislukkings van die verlede geleer is, word ook belig. ’n Geskiedkundige ontleding van die voorsiening van befondsing aan voorheen benadeelde mense in Suid-Afrika word gebied. Die tema van ongelykheid in die bied van toegang tot finansiering vir swart entrepreneurs en klein besighede word binne hierdie verband bekyk. Die geskiedkundige ontleding begin met die vroeë jare in Suid-Afrika en fokus vervolgens op die tydperk 1990 – 1999. Hierdie verslag bied ook ’n kritiese evaluering van sommige van die grootste tekortkomings van die piramidestrukture en ingewikkelde finansiële geniëring van die eerste pogings tot Swart Ekonomiese Bemagtiging in die eng sin van die woord. Daar word bewys dat die Gespesialiseerde Voertuig-befondsingstrukture van die laat 1990’s ’n mislukking was. Hierdie studie kyk boonop na huidige finansieringsopsies en moontlike oplossings. ’n Aantal onlangse voorbeelde van SEBbefondsingstrukture wat klaarblyklik suksesvol was, word ook gebied. Tradisionele regeringsinstansies, soos die Nywerheidsontwikkelingskorporasie in die besonder, het ook heelwat vordering getoon wat die ontwikkeling van meer lewensvatbare befondsing in transaksies met SEB-maatskappy betref. Daar word ook gelet op die feit dat onlangse alternatiewe finansieringstrukture deur die privaat sektor sommige van die sleuteluitdagings van SEB, soos eienaarskap, die beheer en bevordering van volhoubare swart besighede vir die transformerende Suid-Afrikaanse ekonomiese landskap, aanspreek. Daar is egter steeds talle struikelblokke wat die potensiële befondsingsbronne van SEB betref, soos tradisionele banke en lewensversekeraars in Suid-Afrika wat steeds nie meer toeganklik vir die armes is nie. Wesentlike probleme is ook geïdentifiseer in die ontleding van die regering se Ontwikkelingsfinansieringsinstansies, soos die Nasionale Bemagtigingsfonds, Khula Enterprises en die Landbank, wat na verwagting ook ’n beslissende rol in die voorsiening van finansiering vir SEB in die komende jare sal speel. Hierdie studie belig die aansienlike koste wat by die implementering van die SEBstrategieë betrokke is. Die grootste enkele uitdaging vir die ekonomiese bemagtiging van voorheen benadeeldes is toegang tot befondsing. Die behoefte aan omvattende Swart Ekonomiese Bemagtiging in Suid-Afrika word nie betwis nie. Maar dis belangrik dat hierdie koste opgeweeg moet word teen ander volhoubare ontwikkelingsdoelwitte. Dit wil voorkom asof die privaat sektor SEB as ’n uitgawe eerder as ’n geleentheid beskou. Maar alhoewel die tekortkominge van talle bemagtigingsinisiatiewe, wat deur die ineenstorting van die aandelemark in 1998 vererger is, daartoe kon gelei het dat die finansiële sektor bra lugtig vir hierdie transaksies is, kan die sektor tog met skeppende opsies vorendag kom om ou probleme die hoof te bied. Die toekomstige rol van staatsgefinansierde instansies in samewerking met die privaat sektor bly dus deurslaggewend om te verseker dat hierdie doelwitte bereik word. Kortom, die bespreking van die befondsing van Swart Ekonomiese Bemagtiging in Suid-Afrika moet gesien word binne die konteks van die politieke en ekonomiese landskap van die 1900’s en die geskiedenis van die afgelope tien jaar in die besonder. Eng gedefinieerde swart ekonomiese bemagtiging het in die laaste paar jaar aansienlike stukrag verkry danksy die ekonomiese herstrukturering van die sakesektor, wat verder aangedryf is deur onlangse regeringswetgewing soos die Mynbouhandves, die aanbevelings van die Swart Ekonomiese Bemagtigingskommissie, die Departement van Handel en Nywerheid se samesprekingsdokumente en ander wetgewing wat tans beplan word. Die ekonomiese landskap lyk egter steeds allesbehalwe rooskleurig. Reële ekonomiese groei is onvoldoende aangesien groot gedeeltes van ons bevolking steeds werkloos is. ’n Betekenisvolle struikelblok wat ons ekonomie steeds in die gesig staar, is die groot mate van ongelyke welvaart wat bestaan. Dit is binne hierdie verband wat die talle beleids- en befondsingsinisiatiewe geëvalueer moet word wat onderneem is en strategieë wat voorgestel is om die geskiedkundige wanbalanse in die land aan te spreek. Die verhandeling self bestaan uit ses afdelings. Hierdie inleiding dien slegs om ’n bondige oorsig te gee van die onderskeie temas wat in hierdie studie gedek word. Hoofstuk Een ontleed die verskillende definisies van die uitdrukking Swart Ekonomiese Bemagtiging, hul tersaaklikheid en die ontwikkeling van SEB in Suid- Afrika oor die jare. Dit gee aanleiding tot ’n bespreking in Hoofstuk Twee van die probleemstelling, naamlik die befondsing van SEB. Hoofstuk Drie is in sewe onderafdelings verdeel en bied ’n geskiedkundige ontleding van die befondsingstruikelblokke wat swart mense sedert die vroeë 1900’s in die gesig staar, waarna dit ontwikkelings op die gebied van SEB sedert die vroeë 1990’s ondersoek, met ’n kritiese evaluering van die mislukkings van bemagtiging en die befondsingstrukture wat in hierdie tydperk toegepas is. Hoofstuk Drie identifseer ook verskillende ooreenkomste tussen en lesse wat geleer is uit voorbeelde van bemagtigingsondervinding in ander lande. Hoofstuk Vier kyk na die geskatte omvang van die nodige befondsing, asook huidige bronne van finansiering uit die privaat en openbare sektor. Sekere gevolgtrekkings word aan die hand van hierdie oorsig gemaak. Hoofstuk Vyf belig die grootste risiko’s wat die impak van SEB in die gesig staar, asook die toekomstige finansiering daarvan. Hoofstuk Vyf pas boonop die kriteria vir genoegsame befondsing vir SEB op ’n onlangse SEB-transaksie in die vorm van ’n gevallestudie toe. ’n Aantal moontlike oplossings word ook in hierdie afdeling van die ontleding gebied. Hoofstuk Ses vat saam en kom tot ’n slotsom.

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