An analysis into the implementation of Broad Based Black Economic Empowerment (BBBEE) in Namibia : selected case studies

Teek, Pia Mbemurukira (2009-03)

Thesis (MPA (Public Management and Planning))--University of Stellenbosch, 2009.

Thesis

ENGLISCH ABSTRACT: Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) in Namibia is viewed as an essential poverty reduction strategy in the fight against black disempowerment. However, the concept and practice of BEE in Namibia, prevails in the absence of a national BEE policy. Nonetheless, the government has encouraged the public and private sector to develop their own empowerment initiatives, in accordance with the draft BEE guidelines. The practice of BEE in Namibia has become controversial amongst the presently disadvantaged Namibians with regard to its implementation. Criticisms on the implementation of BEE are based on the assumption that BEE has resulted in the selfenrichment of a small black elite as opposed to empowering the poor. Breaking the cycle of underdevelopment and marginalization requires a commitment towards Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (BBBEE) and broad-based ownership. The ultimate objectives of BBBEE are to achieve significant decreases in poverty, income inequality and unemployment. The primary objective of the research was to analyze the implementation of BBBEE within two companies in Namibia, namely; Namibia Mineworkers Investment Company Financial Services (Nam-MIC FS) and the National Housing Enterprise (NHE). The purpose was to determine whether the poor are benefiting from their respective BBBEE strategies and to what extent. A descriptive case study approach was used to understand the empowerment process within the identified institutions. Two data collection methods were used, namely; open-ended questionnaires and standardized open-ended interviewing with the Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) of the respective institutions. The findings reveal that Nam-MIC FS is promoting broad-based ownership in that union members are able to access affordable financial services and products. However, Nam- MIC FS has failed to effectively implement BBBEE, since key areas of empowerment, such as the implementation of a broad-based skills development programme for employees, Small Medium Enterprise (SME) development for union members and community initiatives have been overlooked. The conclusion is that Nam-MIC FS is promoting a minimalist approach to empowerment, since its main focus is on the provision of affordable financial services and products, which is a short-term and unsustainable approach to reducing income inequalities and poverty. The main recommendations include the need to formulate and implement internal policies in respect of the transformational guidelines and implementing a monitoring and evaluation system. The findings on NHE reveal that whilst a BBBEE model has been implemented, a shortcoming is the failure to implement a skills development programme for black SME contractors. Moreover, of concern is the failure by NHE to promote broad-based ownership in the provision of housing, since the poor and very poor are directly and indirectly excluded from housing opportunities. The conclusion is that NHE is not promoting the broader participation, capacity building and economic improvement of the poor and very poor, which exacerbates the housing backlog through the emergence of informal settlements. The main recommendations pertain to the need to directly or indirectly include the poor and very poor in the provision of housing opportunities and a need to implement a skills development programme for black SME contractors, in addition to implementing a monitoring and evaluation system.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Swart Ekomiese Bemagtiging (SEB) in Namibië word as ‘n noodsaaklike strategie vir die verligting van armoede in die stryd teen swart verontmagtiging beskou. Die SEB-konsep en die beoefening daarvan staan egter sonder ‘n ondersteunende nasionale SEB-beleid. Desnieteenstaande moedig die regering die private en die besigheidsektors aan om self bemagtigingsinisiatiewe in ooreenstemming met SEB-konsepriglyne te ontwikkel. Vir minderbevoorregtes in Namibië is die beoefening van SEB egter omstrede vanweë die implementering daarvan. Kritiek oor die implementering van SEB word gebaseer op die aanname dat SEB die selfverryking van ‘n klein groep swart elite instede van die bemagtiging van armes behels. Verbreking van die siklus van onderontwikkeling en marginalisering vereis verbondenheid tot Breë Basis Swart Ekonomiese Bemagtiging (BBSEB) en breë basis eienaarskap. Die uiteindelike oogmerke van BBSEB is betekenisvolle vermindering van armoede, ongelyke inkomste en werkloosheid. Die primêre doelwit van hierdie navorsing was om die implementering van BBSEB in twee maatskappye in Namibië, die Namibia Mineworkers Investment Company Financial Services (Nam-MIC FS) en die National Housing Enterprise (NHE), te ontleed. Die doel was om te bepaal of die armes enige voordeel uit die onderskeie BBSEB-strategieë trek en in hoeverre dit gebeur. Die navorsing is met behulp van beskrywende gevallestudies benader om die bemagtigingsproses in die betrokke instansies te kan verstaan. Twee insamelingsmetodes is vir die verkryging van data gebruik: ope-vraag vraelyste en gestandaardiseerde ope-vraag onderhoude met bedryfshoofde van die onderskeie instansies. Die bevindings toon dat Nam-MIC FS breë basis eienaarskap bevorder deur vakbondlede in staat te stel om toegang tot bekostigbare finansiële dienste en produkte te bekom, maar nie daarin geslaag het om BBSEB effektief te implementeer nie, aangesien sleutelareas van bemagtiging, soos implementering van breë basis vaardigheidsontwikkelingsprogramme vir werknemers en ontwikkeling van vaardighede vir Klein en Medium Ondernemings vir vakbondlede, sowel as gemeenskapsinisiatiewe, oor die hoof gesien is. Die gevolgtrekking is dat Nam-MIC FS ‘n minimalistiese benadering tot bemagtiging bevorder – hulle is hoofsaaklik op die verskaffing van bekostigbare finansiële dienste en produkte gerig, wat as ‘n korttermyn en onvolhoubare benadering tot die vermindering van inkomste-ongelykheid, en tot armoede, beskou word. Die vernaamste aanbevelings betrek die behoefte om ‘n interne beleid ten opsigte van transformatiewe riglyne te formuleer en ‘n stelsel vir die monitering en evaluering daarvan te implementeer. Bevindings oor die NHE toon dat ‘n BBSEB model geïmplementeer is, maar die firma tekortskiet aangesien hulle nie ’n vaardigheidsontwikkelingsprogram vir swart KMOkontrakteurs kon instel nie. Verder is dit sorgwekkend dat die NHE nie geslaag het om breë-basis eienaarskap deur voorsiening van behuising te bevorder nie, aangesien die armes uiters arm is en direk sowel as indirek uitgesluit word wanneer geleenthede vir behuising ter sprake is. Die gevolgtrekking is dat die NHE nie breër deelname, die ontwikkeling van kapasiteit, en ekonomiese verbetering van armes en uiters armes bevorder nie, waardeur die behuisingsagterstand vererger, en informele nedersettings ontstaan. Die vernaamste aanbevelings betrek die behoefte aan direkte of indirekte insluiting van armes en uiters armes by die voorsiening van behuisingsgeleenthede en die behoefte om vaardigheidsontwikkelingsprogramme vir swart KMO-kontrakteurs, tesame met ‘n monitering- en evalueringstelsel, te implementeer.

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