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Johannesburg - The ANC says it is not surprised by the DA’s renewed “flip-flopping” stance on Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (BEE). 

The party has criticised the DA for saying BEE has failed to deliver and transform the economy for a number of South Africans. 

The DA had caused an uproar after it emerged that the party had “abandoned” the BEE policy. DA members differed in public over what decision regarding BEE the party's Federal Council had agreed on. 

The party on Monday clarified its position on the matter and said it was not entirely “abandoning” BEE, but that it was of the belief that the ANC’s BEE policy had failed millions of South Africans. 

The DA’s James Selfe said the party was seeking a policy that will broaden economic inclusion. 

“It is clear that the ANC’s model of B-BBEE has failed dismally. It has doomed millions to the despair of unemployment and has serially enriched a politically connected elite. The DA is, therefore, seeking ways to broaden economic inclusion for those that have been previously and deliberately excluded by virtue of race, but also gender and disability, to name but a few.

"Our goal is to advance the empowerment of disadvantaged South Africans, the majority of whom are black. Therefore, the DA unequivocally supports the empowerment of black South Africans,” said Selfe. 

The party said that empowerment policies should be less “race-based” over time, and has criticised the ANC for focusing on race categorisation. 

“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. 

"The only reason the ANC government has had to focus ever-increasingly on narrow racial categorisation, is because their empowerment policy has failed so dismally,” said Selfe.

The ANC said the DA’s changing stance on BEE showed that the party was not concerned about redress and only the advancement of a few people.
“For the DA to claim that they are ditching BEE because it is "just not working", is extremely disingenuous. It is an excuse for their own deep-seated resistance to economic transformation. Yes, there are serious challenges with regard to some aspects of the implementation of the programme. Indeed, the benefits of BBBEE are still to reach the vast majority of our people,” said the ANC in a statement on Tuesday.

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