Mmusi Maimane led a DA press conference at the Milner Hotel. Picture: Armand Hough/African News Agency(ANA)
Cape Town - The DA‘s plan to offer a remodelled version of the ANC’s black economic empowerment (BEE) to voters might backfire, a political analyst has warned.

DA leader Mmusi Maimane said: “BBBEE (broad-based black economic empowerment) is a redress policy. The ANC has its own model, and our model says give equity to employees, educate people, develop enterprises and broaden inclusion.”

Maimane rejected claims that the DA had wholly rejected the policy.

“This is grossly inaccurate, you can ask anyone and you can speak to members. I don’t support the ANC’s model because it had its own consequences because the people who support BEE, more than blacks, are those that underwrite BEE deals. To me it’s about education and to broaden the inclusion,” Maimane said.

“On the matter of redress and empowerment, we have not decided to move away from race-based redress policies, however, we unequivocally reject the ANC’s version of redress which operates to enrich and re-enrich the connected elite,” he said.

Maimane briefed the media on the outcomes of its federal council meeting that was held on over the weekend in Cape Town.

Reports about the DA’s position on BEE surfaced after top DA officials in the meeting said that the DA planned to move away from it and told voters that it would offer more inclusive redress.

Political analyst Amanda Gouws said liberal parties had always struggled to accept the principles of a policy like BEE.

“But the real question is what do they (DA) want to achieve through this. If they do this they will loose black voters when they should be trying to attract them, but how do you do that.”

Gouws said she found it strange that the DA planned to remodel it.

“Its very interesting because (it) at first said that it would consider disadvantaged black communities.

“What we need to ask ourselves is whether this is the DA scoring political points,” she said.

Ivan Meyer, DA deputy federal chairperson, expressed excitement at the remodelled BEE.

“We don’t reject it we want to remodel it, we discussed it at the federal council and it received overwhelming support from the party.”

It’s not the first time the DA mentioned it planned to “dump” the ANC’s BEE plans.

In August last year the DA said that it had taken a decision to seek a “broader economic empowerment framework”.

The DA’s head of policy at the time said the party’s highest policy decision making body had taken the decision back in July.

A report compiled last year titled, “Vula: The ‘open’ economy, open for business” was presented at the DA federal council meeting where economic policies were discussed, in a bid to sharpen the party’s offering to South Africans ahead of the 2019 national elections.

The 152 page document stated that the party should dump the policy and replace it with an environment social governance (ESG) index that removed race from the scorecard.

ANC national spokesperson Zizi Kodwa said it showed the DA would bring back apartheid once in government.

“This represents what the DA’s values are. Their notion of redress does not exist in their policy and it is evident that if the DA would be in government it would bring back apartheid.

“If they are talking about broadening its inclusivity, it means that they must redress.”

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Cape Argus