The Democratic Alliance (DA) says it is looking for ways to broaden economic inclusion for those who have been previously and deliberately excluded by virtue of race, but also gender and disability, to name but a few examples.
According to the party’s Chairperson of Federal Council, Mr James Selfe MP; “It is clear that the ANC’s model of Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (B-BBEE) has failed dismally. It has doomed millions to the despair of unemployment, and has serially enriched a politically connected elite.”
The DA says that its goal is to advance the empowerment of disadvantaged South Africans, the majority of whom are black. It is keeping this in mind that the party continues to support the empowerment of black South Africans.
Ms Gwen Ngwenya MP, the party’s Head of Policy explained, “The painful legacy of apartheid persists in our society today, and continues to largely define opportunity and life chances.
“This is wrong, and is inimical to a fair society, which is a core value of the DA. It is therefore both a moral and economic imperative to take active steps to redress this legacy.
We reject the ANC’s narrow-based BBBEE. We will offer our own, alternative model of real, broad-based empowerment.
“Crucially, we have always said that we aim to achieve a society in which race is not a determinant of opportunity. We have argued that empowerment policies need to become less race-focused over time, as the policies begin to do their work in redressing the legacy of apartheid.”
Selfe emphasised that the party believes that it is possible to design an empowerment framework that will deliver equality of opportunity for all South Africans over time.
The party is basing its argument to broaden black empowerment by looking at numerous possibilities for a new empowerment framework designed to empower poor, primarily black South Africans.
In the first instance, the party is looking at the World Bank’s proposal of a contributory pension which would help provide more South Africans with pension savings and thus exposure to the wealth created by financial assets.
Furthermore, taking a look at the model of Economic Empowerment for the Disadvantaged (EED) proposed by the South African Institute of Race Relations.
The Federal Policy Unit, under the direction of Ngwenya, is in the process of setting up various commissions to produce new policy
The party is also looking at the Pact for Inclusive Empowerment (PIE) that develops an empowerment index for listed and non-listed companies. This could provide a way for market pressure and shareholder activism to drive corporate behaviour towards a positive social impact.
Lastly, the party is looking at a tax credit for those who support adult dependents. This would lower the tax obligations of those who support adult non-taxpayers. In other words, provide support for what has become known colloquially as ‘black tax’.
Ngwenya further stated, “The above is by no means an exhaustive list, but illustrates that the ANC’s model of BEE is not the only way to conceive of an inclusive economic offer. The DA position on black empowerment is therefore clear. We reject the ANC’s narrow-based BBBEE. We will offer our own, alternative model of real, broad-based empowerment.”
Selfe further emphasised, “The Federal Policy Unit, under the direction of Ngwenya, is in the process of setting up various commissions to produce new policy, working within the framework agreed to at the Federal Council of 15 July.”