BEE - Better definitions will help stop alarming race-based decisionsWritten by Dylan Cunard
The practice by BBBEE ratings agents and practitioners clearly discriminates against African and Coloured mothers
While it is well established that one of the purposes of broad-based black economic empowerment (BBBEE) is to address historical imbalances or patterns of past discrimination in SA, the fact that it is based on a flawed race-based categorisation from the apartheid era means there will always be challenges in applying it.
This is all too evident in determining who is "coloured" for the purposes of BBBEE, where there is still confusion among rating agents and practitioners. This confusion leads to discriminatory practices that unfairly prejudice South Africans of colour.
The process of determining who is coloured will presumably become more challenging as SA becomes further ethnically integrated (with more children born of mixed parentage) and more globalised. For example, there is reportedly a view among some BBBEE rating agents and practitioners that a South African citizen born after 1994 who has an African or coloured father and white mother should be classified for BBBEE purposes as coloured, whereas if they had a white father and an African or coloured mother they should be classified as white. Some have reportedly even taken the alarming view that children with a white father and African or coloured mother, should be classified as white unless they look more coloured than white.
This confusion has presumably arisen because the racial classifications that were created under apartheid are still referenced in BBBEE legislation.
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