Ethical Issues of South Africa's Black Economic Empowerment Program Term Paper

Pages: 8 (2537 words)  ·  Style: MLA  ·  Bibliography Sources: 7  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Literature - African

Ethical issues of South Africa's Black Economic Empowerment Program (BEE)

Across the formerly colonized African territory, South Africa's turbulent history and multifaceted makeup is not unique. However, the country remains unique in light of the particulars. First, the nation has a direct experience with the leading violent eras across African history. My interest to cover this topic has emerged from this context of the subject matter. The history of South Africa is unique hence shaping the analysis. Therefore, I have provided readers with a unique case study established by the guidelines of social science qualitative methodologies. My work has clanged on the academia utilizing one single case analysis to obtain universally applicable lessons and generalizations. This study provides suitable and detailed insights concerning the issue of ethical treatment. By the virtues of the scope of my study, it is a unique piece of work. In this study, temporary and spatial delimitation will focus on the latter condition that South Africans experienced in the 20th Century (Stamos 30)

The Concept of Apartheid

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Tense ethical debates have emerged due to reverse discrimination. However, in the case of South Africa, the scope of inequalities has been a source of strong rationale in the introduction of radical measures. South Africa's Black Economic Empowerment Program (BEE) was convinced that it would be inappropriate to consider South African leaders as unambitious by extending the control and business equity to formerly disadvantaged group (Giddens 21).

TOPIC: Term Paper on Ethical Issues of South Africa's Black Economic Empowerment Program Bee Assignment

These leaders were perhaps overambitious when their perspective is observed from the political, economic, and social contexts facing South Africa. Reports have indicated that personal enrichment, corruption, unrealistic targets, and poor financing of BEE projects have been the major factors driving the rail of schemes. Lack of talented and qualified BEE employees has made the quota programs end up with problems. On the other hand, emigrating white settlers who were not satisfied with the twisting labor sector have worsened shortage of qualified skills. While positive discrimination could have been helpful, it should have taken the branch and root approach in tackling the underlying inequality condition. This includes poverty, health, education, and business (Mercer 80).

Following such argument, we can draw on the long held South Africa's racial discrimination history. In the early years of 1652, the Cape of Good Hope was colonized based on slave labor. After the slave trade was abolished in 1830, the British Imperialists and the Dutch settlers agreed on racial discrimination and white supremacy. In 1948, the nation of South Africa was viewed as the only colonized country ruled by discriminatory practices but remained a British Commonwealth participant (Madi 21). In the Southern region of the United States, Afro-Americans made up the second-class population. In addition, individual supremacists and state organs subjected these citizens to brutality. During this period, the civil rights movement did not exist. Most importantly, in 1948, the national party won the elections as apartheid rallied the party's campaigns. Therefore, the white electorates gave the party the mandate to enact its programs. After winning the majority votes, they formed the parliament with calls for ensuring a great representation of the rural population as opposed to the urban regions. Out of fear, the national party rushed to enact the programs because they did not want to lose the subsequent election. Apartheid was effected when the population's minuscule security become a formal policy for the forty years that followed.


The national party (ANC) had opponents of the formation of multiracial alliances. According to this group of Africanists, the movement would be distracted by cooperation with the Indians and whites. This would pave the way for the movement to compromise the interests of the African people. However, this movement was forced out of the national party consequently forming their own party; the Pan-Africanist Congress. They lobbied on the slogan of supporting African people. However, sometimes they included the whites in their definition of Africans. Most whites were viewed as settlers even though they did not own any land. This lobby group advocated for social democracy and anti-imperialism identifying them with other Africans across the continent. Eventually, they led to the creation of the United States of Africa. PAN introduced campaigns against past laws. This was followed by a group of blacks who challenged the police to arrest them for lack of carrying along their passes. This caused panic among the police who opened a shootout that led to massive deaths and injuries on the blacks.

Various developments have been associated with the Sharpeville Massacre. The over 30,000 African parliamentary representatives prompted predictable reactions. This forced the Prime Minister to declare an emergency state resulting in 18,000 arrests. The regime of the apartheid survived the crisis of the legitimacy making 1960s a harsher repression period and revamped determination. This made the nationalist's government take critical steps between them banning PAC and ANC in 1961. This forced the two movements to go underground. PAC set up its leadership in the neighboring nation of Tanzania and operated on the Liberation Party. It established collaborations with the army in Lesotho. On the other hand, the ANC failed to gain significant support from the international community thus achieving little in the 1960s. The military wing of PAC engaged in terrorist activities with the aim of assassinating African tribal leaders in government who collaborated with the whites. ANC exile leaders settled in Zambia. ANC militant wing sabotaged major power plants and police posts while trying to avoid deaths and injuries (Giddens 39).

By then, the shift towards armed war had been accomplished. However, the change of mind had occurred much earlier. It was irrelevant to adhere to Gandhi's principles of nonviolence. By 1953, Nelson Mandela had acknowledged that violence was the only path towards destruction of apartheid and the country had to prepare itself for the near future to embrace the use of weapons. Moreover, South Africa was not to use weapons as a moral principle but rather as a strategy to freedom. When the nation leaders resorted to adopt armed struggle, they worked closely with the communist party in South Africa. Some members of this party have already coordinated military strategies of the ANC and serving in government. Indeed, it has been impossible to mention ANC and leave out South African Communist Party (SACP). This is because the organizations have collaborated closely and until now, they have had a significantly overlapping membership (Madi 30).

In 1963, various African leaders were arrested including Nelson Mandela, who was sent to prison. Some of them were tried for high treason and sabotage; they faced a possibility of the death penalty. On the contrary, Mandela and various other leaders were sent to life in prison. However, most of them remained in jail until the later period of 1980s. Before Mandela was deported to the island, he made a famous speech expressing his willingness to die for the sake of South Africa's democracy. While still in jail, Mandela retained a strong moral support for the democratic movement (Giddens 91).

The ineffective Systems

With no motive to allocate to Africans extra pieces of land, the ruling party led by Verwoerd as the Prime minister advocated a big campaign of wide social engineering characterized by Massive Apartheid with the complete aim of evacuating Africans from areas dominated by whites. The government substantially progressed to give independence to the homelands without considering that the South Africans already residing in these regions could not be supported by the reserves and the lack of viability and economic infrastructure, (Karolides 19). Despite the harsh treatment related to the nature of the apartheid era, or maybe thanks to the regime, investors from outside the nation had confidence as far as the investment security and state stability are concerned. As a result, there was a massive inflow of capital into the republic of South Africa, firmly during the 1960s. However, not everyone benefited from this economic boom as the Republic of South Africa by the early 1980s had enjoyed the greatest and most inequitable income distribution globally. The living standards of the white society were higher than even most of the countries in the west; they depended on unashamed mistreatment of the majority of the nation's population. This was achieved by keeping extremely low the wages of the working population. Apart from the exploitation, the introduction of independent Bantustans of the state was the innovation plan: South Africa could not provide appropriate treatment to the natives (Stamos 51)

Foreign Debts challenges

During the transitional period, a major recurrent question concerning the importance of capital was what would be the way forward for the foreign debts. Under the apartheid era, these debts had increased to over $20 billion. Reports have morally argued that since the debts were used to bolster apartheid, they should be helpful in the country's economic reconstruction. Handbooks indicate that the debts should have been paid to special reconstruction funds rather than commercial banks. Conversely, the bank officials representing South Africa and the foreign debt review team were incompetent because they led the… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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