A comparative study of Afrikaner Economic Empowerment and Black Economic Empowerment : a csse study of a former South African parastatal in Vanderbijlpark

Xaba, Nkhaba Jantjie (2020-03)

Thesis (PhD)--Stellenbosch University, 2020.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Since 1994, there have been many debates as to why Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (BBBEE) has been unable to deliver the same economic benefits post 1994, as the Afrikaner Economic Empowerment (AEE) had done after the depression despite the similarities in approach and intentions. Both programs relied on a welfare state to pass a legislative and macroeconomic strategy to provide jobs, develop skills and roll out series of welfare policies to uplift the poor. Nevertheless, due to several factors, these did not have a substantial impact on decreases in unemployment, poverty and inequality among blacks, and social empowerment is an alternative. A review of literature points to a number of different factors and influences that led to Afrikaner disempowerment, ranging from conflict, drought and diseases to discrimination in the labour market, as well as level of education. Studies showed that AEE developed a nationalist program using language, religion and race to implement legislation that protected and promoted the economic interests of white Afrikaners. This was accompanied by a macroeconomic policy based on Keynesian principles where State Owned Enterprises (SOEs) were used to provide protected jobs, develop skills and provide welfare services such as education, housing and healthcare. Labour market influences that contributed to empowerment included - standard employment practices, employment benefits and protective trade unions. However following the 1970s financial crisis, SOEs were accused of being too cumbersome, too rigid, routinized and inflexible and this led to the implementation of New Public Management (NPM) approach comprising of measures involving downsizing, restructuring, privatization, outsourcing and flexible employment to cut costs, improve efficiency (Carstens and Thornhill, 2000:187). Additionally, AEE became more successful because of the nature and role of civil society organisations (CSOs) such as the Helpmekaarvereeniging, the Broederbond and the Afrikaanse Christelike Vrouevereeniging (ACVV), as well as organisations promoting Afrikaner culture such as language (Federasie van Afrikaanse Kultuurvereniging -FAK) and religion (Dutch Reformed Church-DRC), acting as the voice of the poor and helping to build social capital. Under BEE, the review of literature revealed that the root cause of black disempowerment was the unjust racial policies of the previous regime. The ANC government implemented a legislative framework that focused on redress, instead of nationhood. This program was accompanied by two contradictory macroeconomic policies; one (Reconstruction and Development Programme - RDP) focusing on state-led development to uplift the poor, the other (GEAR), focused on neoliberal ideology and concentrating on reducing fiscal deficits, inflation control, stable exchange rates, decreasing barriers to trade and capital liberalization, was to reduce trade barriers and achieve growth and development. Under this new economic framework, the state rolled out NPM strategies that included privatisation of SOEs, downsizing the size of the public sector expenditure, outsourcing public services to promote empowerment, and employment flexibility. There is a growing amount of informal, seasonal, and contract work-generally known as “non-standard jobs” and a new “working poor” in many sectors of the South African economy. Unfortunately, under BEE, social empowerment was not effective as CSOs were not as organized as they were under AEE. GEAR caused chaos among many CSOs as they attempted to redefine their ties with the government and many isolated them from the state through the fairly shut down, bureaucratic and expert-led system of policymaking. The study investigated these issues through in-depth interviews with sixty-seven former and current employees, participant observation with leaders and members of the BJO and focus group discussions with three former black employees and four leaders Solidarity union. The study showed that the primary reason why AEE was successful in uplifting the whites is that it focused on a small homogenous population of mainly Afrikaners, while BEE targeted a larger and diverse group not based on ethnicity. AEE was supported by the economic, political-legal and socio-cultural dimensions. The macroeconomic policy was underpinned by a Keynesian ideology where the state, business, and white trade unions formed a ‘social contract’ to uplift the poor. Under BEE, the ANC-led government adopted a ‘neo-liberalised’ macroeconomic policy that advocated privatisation, deregulation, downsizing, flexible employment and outsourcing to cut costs and increase efficiency. The result was job losses, less training, a rise in atypical forms of employment such as casual, part-time and contract employment accompanied by few employment benefits. In addition, there was a strong organised civil society movement supporting AEE and the development of social capital through language, religion and nationalism; while under BEE CSOs were alienated from the state and focused on various issues rather than the upliftment of a specific group. Such gaps led primarily to BEE's inability to raise the vulnerable. The study suggests problems to be discussed in improving BEE legislation and the role of social empowerment.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Sedert 1994 word daar verskeie debatte gevoer aangaande die redes waarom Breëbasis Swart Ekonomiese Bemagtiging (BSEB) ná 1994 nie dieselfde ekonomiese voordele kon lewer nie, soos wat die Afrikaner Ekonomiese Bemagtiging (AEB) ná die Depressie gedoen het, te midde daarvan dat dit dieselfde benadering en voornemens het. Beide programme het op ’n welvaart staat staatgemaak om ‘n wetgewende en makro-ekonomiese strategie te ontwikkel vir werkskepping, vaardigheidsontwikkeling en ’n reeks welsynsbeleide uit te voer om armes op te hef. As gevolg van verskeie faktore het dit nie ’n beduidende invloed gehad om werkloosheid, armoede en ongelykhede onder Swartmense te verlaag nie. Sosiale Bemagtiging word daarom as ‘n alternatief voorgestel. 'n Oorsig van die literatuur wys op verskillende faktore en invloede wat gelei het tot die ontmagtiging van die Afrikaner, wat wissel van konflik, droogte en siektes tot diskriminasie in die arbeidsmark, sowel as geletterdheidsvlakke. Studies dui aan dat die AEB ’n nasionalistiese program ontwikkel het waar taal, godsdiens en ras gebruik is om wetgewing op te stel wat ekonomiese belange van wit Afrikaners beskerm en bevorder het. Dit het gepaard gegaan met ’n makro-ekonomiese beleid gebaseer op die Keynesiaanse beginsels waar Staatsbeheerde Ondernemings (SO’s) gebruik is om beskermde werksgeleenthede te skep, vaardighede te ontwikkel en welsyndienste soos onderrig, behuising en gesondheidssorg te lewer. Arbeidsmark invloede wat tot bemagting bygedra het sluit in gestandardiseerde indiensnemingspraktyke en -voordele asook beskermende vakbonde. Na die finansiële krisis in die 1970’s word die Staatsbeheerde Ondernemings daarvan beskuldig dat hulle te omslagtig, te rigied, geroetineerd en onbuigsaam was. Dit het tot die implementering van die Nuwe Openbare Bestuursplan (NOB) gelei. Hierdie plan het uit maatreëls bestaan wat die afskaling, herstrukturering, privatisering, uitkontraktering en buigsame indiensneming insluit, om kostes te verminder en doeltreffendheid te verbeter (Carstens en Thornhill, 2000:187). Boonop het die AEB meer suksesvol geword vanweë die aard en rol van burgerlike samelewingsorganisasies (BSO's) soos die Helpmekaarvereniging, die Broederbond en die Afrikaanse Christelike Vrouevereniging (ACVV), asook organisasies wat die Afrikanerkultuur soos taal (Federasie van Afrikaanse Kultuurvereniging -FAK) en godsdiens (Nederduits Gereformeerde Kerk -NG Kerk) bevorder. Hierdie organisasies het as die stem van die armes opgetree en gehelp om sosiale kapitaal op te bou. Onder BSEB, het die literatuuroorsig aan die lig gebring dat die oorsaak van swart ontmagtiging die onregverdige rassebeleid van die vorige regime was. Die ANC-regering het 'n wetgewende raamwerk geïmplementeer wat fokus op regstelling, in plaas van nasieskap. Die program het gepaard gegaan met twee teenstrydige makro-ekonomiese beleide; een (Heropbou- en Ontwikkelingsprogram - HOP) wat fokus op die staatsgeleide ontwikkeling om armes op te hef, die ander gebaseer op neo-liberale ideologie (Strategie vir Groei, Indiensneming en Herverdeling - SGIH) wat fokus op die vermindering van fiskale tekorte, beheer van inflasie, stabiele wisselkoers, afname in handelshindernisse en die liberalisering van kapitaalvloei om groei en ontwikkeling te bewerkstellig. Onder hierdie nuwe ekonomiese raamwerk het die staat NOB-strategieë implementeer wat insluit die privatisering van SO's, die afskaal van die openbare sektoruitgawes, die uitkontraktering van openbare dienste om bemagtiging te bevorder en buigsaamheid met indiensneming te bevorder. Die resultaat was 'n vinnige uitbreiding van informele, tydelike en kontrakarbeid in vele sektore van die Suid-Afrikaanse ekonomie - genoem 'nie-standaard indiensneming' en die ontstaan van 'n nuwe 'werkende arm' arbeidsegment. Ongelukkig was sosiale bemagtiging onder BSEB nie effektief nie, aangesien BSO's nie so georganiseerd was soos onder AEB nie. SGIH het baie BSO's in 'n warboel gegooi omdat hulle probeer het om hul verhoudings met die regering te herdefinieer, en die relatief geslote hiërargiese en kundige gedrewe proses van beleidsformulering het baie van die BSO’s van die staat vervreem.Hierdie kwessies is ondersoek deur middel van in-diepte onderhoude met sewe-en-sestig voormalige en huidige werknemers sowel as waarnemings geleenthede van leiers en lede van die BJO. Fokusgroepgesprekke is met drie voormalige swart werknemers en vier leiers van die Solidariteit-unie gedoen. Die studie het getoon dat die primêre rede waarom AEB suksesvol was met die opheffing van die blankes, was dat dit gefokus het op 'n klein homogene bevolking van hoofsaaklik Afrikaners, terwyl BSEB op 'n groter en diverse groep gerig was wat nie op etnisiteit gebaseer is nie. AEB is ondersteun deur ekonomiese, polities-wetlike en sosio-kulturele dimensies. Die makro-ekonomiese beleid is gebaseer op 'n Keynesiaanse ideologie waar die staat, die sakewêreld en wit vakbonde 'n 'sosiale kontrak' gevorm het om die armes op te hef. Onder BSEB het die ANC-geleide regering 'n 'neo-liberaliseerde' makro-ekonomiese beleid aanvaar wat privatisering, deregulering, verkleinering, buigsame indiensneming en uitkontraktering voorgestaan het, om kostes te besnoei en doeltreffendheid te verhoog. Die resultaat was werkverliese, minder opleiding, 'n toename in atipiese vorme van indiensneming soos informele-, deeltydse- en kontrakwerk wat gepaard gegaan het met min diensvoordele. Daarbenewens was daar 'n sterk georganiseerde burgerlike organisasie beweging wat AEB ondersteun het en die ontwikkeling van sosiale kapitaal deur taal, godsdiens en nasionalisme bevorder het. BSEB het BSO’s van die staat vervreem en op ‘n verskeidenheid kwessies gefokus eerder as op die opheffing van 'n spesifieke groep. Hierdie verskille het grotendeels bygedra tot die mislukking van BSEB om armes op te hef. Die studie beklemtoon dus kwessies wat oorweeg moet word by die verbetering van BSEB-wetgewing, sowel as die implikasies daarvan om maatskaplike bemagtiging wyer aan te spreek.

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