THE DA has stopped backing the black economic empowerment (BEE) policy.
Parliament has slammed the opposition party for its position after the party’s highest decision-making body (federal council) dumped it.
The chairperson of the portfolio committee on labour in Parliament, Lemias Mashile, said yesterday that the DA’s decision showed it never supported black people but wanted the economy to remain in the hands of white people.
Mashile said BEE was the only policy that would advance the scope of black people’s participation in the mainstream economy and increase the employment of people.
DA head of policy Gwen Ngwenya confirmed that the federal council had endorsed the decision to dump BEE because it was not working.
However, political analysts believe the party’s latest stance is akin to committing political suicide, especially with elections looming.
Mashile said the government was committed to ensuring that more black people participated in the economy.
He said it was mischievous of the DA to claim that the policy had not worked. “BEE is there to expand the reach of the economic transformation we are busy with.
“If you are not involved in BEE, you will have the economy still in the hands of white people.
“BEE is there to ensure the economy is transformed and if more black people get in you have a wider scope of employment,” said Mashile.
He added that the decision showed that the DA did not want black people to come into the mainstream of the economy. He said the DA had shown its true colours regarding where it stood on the economic divide.
The committee chairperson charged that BEE was not the only policy the party had frowned upon. He said it was refusing to support the allocation of RDP houses to poor black people. The government had provided millions of houses to the poor since 1994.
“We are not surprised by the DA’s position. They have also said they would scrap the provision of houses to the people,” said Mashile.
The Department of Human Settlements said recently it had a backlog of more than 2.3million in housing allocations despite the provision of millions of houses over the past 24 years.
It also said it would centralise the housing database to deal with fraud and corruption at provincial and local level.
In the figures presented by the government in Parliament, most of the firms listed on the JSE were not in the hands of black people.