A recent survey concluded that, as a result of BEE, the drive and desire amongst skilled black people to become entrepreneurs had been reduced in favour of ‘easy employment’.
One of BEE’s consequences would then appear to be that it has driven white males to become entrepreneurs and help the white population to remain as drivers of the economy.
Just where is the solution to skills transfer and economic growth in South Africa?
Online research company, WhyFive, conducted the largest-ever survey, sampling 20,233 South Africans, 49 percent of whom identified as black, 37 percent white, seven percent Indian and eight percent coloured. All of those surveyed earned R10 000 or more.
In relation to entrepreneurship or the “self-employed” the WhyFive survey found that there are about 272 000 (or about 17 percent) of self-employed people among the ranks of the 1 600 000 people with a monthly personal income in excess of R25 000.
According to WhyFive, these are people “driving, fuelling and playing a vital role in the economic well-being of our country.”
Nearly 80 percent of entrepreneurs are males and 20 percent of them are black. The survey found that BEE, while it has been a success, “had reduced the desire of skilled black people to start their own businesses and create jobs”.
This was, according to WhyFive, “because as a young, educated, skilled black person it is easier to find a job. So, it’s white males who are starting and owning new businesses, which only serves to reinforce white domination of business ownership in South Africa.”
The largest numbers of entrepreneurs in South Africa were found in KZN followed by the Eastern Cape, Northwest Province and the Western Cape. This could perhaps be best explained by fewer job opportunities in these provinces which forced more people into starting their own enterprises there. Entrepreneurs, the survey found, are older than employees, and also earn more.
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