King's College London

Research portal

Black economic empowerment policy in eThekwini, Durban, South Africa: economic justice, economic fraud and ‘leaving money on the table’

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)415-441
Number of pages27
JournalReview of African Political Economy
Issue number161
Early online date24 Sep 2019
Publication statusPublished - 2019

Bibliographical note

This work is a result of research carried out using funding from the Leverhulme Trust, award no. RP2012-V-041, and with funding from the Department of Science and Technology and National Research Foundation-funded South African Research Chair (SARCHi) at the University of KwaZulu-Natal. The work was assisted by Professor Michael K. Dorsey and Dr. Sithembiso Myeni (Interviewers), and Kevin Sudi, Ayanda Tshabalala, Thobile Lombo, Mbali Mthembu, Keke Lelethu, Siyabonga Ntombela, Nduta Mbarathi and Kathleen Diga. The interview transcripts are complex, detailed, personal and fascinating and I would especially like to thank the participants for generously giving their time. Thanks also to the three anonymous reviewers for their lengthy and useful comments and to Dr. Jörg Wiegratz for his extensive critical commentary.

King's Authors


Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) policy in South Africa is intended to mitigate the economic disadvantage of Apartheid and contribute to inclusive growth and development. This article examines perspectives of BEE by economic actors and accreditation agencies in eThekwini between 2012 and 2016. The article finds that BEE policy has contributed to building a political economy of connectivity and concession embedded in localised categorical framings of race, class and gender, where some economic fraud and corruption has taken place. However, BEE has also contributed to growing a black capitalist class which eschews political concession and identifies with market-based economic transformation.

View graph of relations

© 2018 King's College London | Strand | London WC2R 2LS | England | United Kingdom | Tel +44 (0)20 7836 5454