R475m BEE windfall for four women is a complete mix up-Numsa

Concerted efforts by big capital to muddle up black economic empowerment are out in the open.

Electronics company Reunert’s empowerment deal which saw the country’s four richest women, including a white businesswoman allocating millions of shares among themselves only served to “resist meaningful transformation”. Former ANC deputy secretary general Cheryl Carolus, one-time Spoornet chief executive Dolly Mokgatle, renowned lawyer Thandi Orleyn and former CCMA director and Wendy Lucas Bull who is former CEO of FirstRand retail division each stand to get shares worth between R70m and R130m.

Numsa is strongly opposed to big business attitude towards developing BEE policies without interacting formally with labour. “It’s uncontrollable greed and gluttony on the part of big capital because they fear that the country’s resources are not enough to provide a better life for all.

We want to see disempowered workers and members getting a fair share in this particular transaction rather than distributing them to the filthy rich four businesswomen.

It is a worrying development, as it is the case in this instance that workers who contributed so much with “their blood, sweat and toil” to the prosperity of Reunert stand to gain nothing in the gratuitous transfer of shares to the selected few.

And, this makes it inevitable for government to review the flawed process of broad-based black economic empowerment implementation in all our sectors, including electronics, metal, engineering and auto manufacturing industries, or else this process will collapse and degenerate into anarchy and malicious open self-enrichment for the few.

If it does not “amount to bastardizing the true economic empowerment process of the broader community, it may as well mean BEE is indeed, simply about enriching the affluent, well-connected and only privileged people”.

Numsa is also disgusted at the way metals and engineering industries have chosen to dig in their heels and resist in leading the process towards meaningful economic transformation. Another worrying trend is that most industry associations in these sectors chose to work in partnerships and lobby government in order to get best deals for themselves.

Numsa is strongly calling on Reunert’s chief executive Boel Pretorius to intervene and reverse the transaction, before we mobilize our members in the company and its subsidiary CBI to publicly protest and demand that a workers trust should be established to ensure that workers were entitled to gain from profit-sharing schemes of their companies.

For more information contact:

Mziwakhe Hlangani, national information officer

Cell phone: 0829407116

e-mail address: mziwakheh@numsa.org.za

Web site: www.numsa.org.za