Racial capitalism, ruling elite business entanglement and the impasse of black economic empowerment policy in South Africa


The high rate of inequality in South Africa is rooted in colonial dispossession and racial exploitation, and still runs primarily along the racial divide. Policy initiatives taken to redress past economic injustices through the black economic empowerment (BEE) have failed to bring economic transformation. Using the twin lenses of epistemic violence and racial capitalism, this study analyses how entangled interests aimed to co-opt the ruling party elite by the apartheid-era business elite led to the BEE impasse. The pervasiveness of cultural alienation in BEE failure suggests that a shift to restorative justice is necessary to break from the impasse.


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Author Biography

Alexis Habiyaremye, University of Johannesburg
DSI/NRF SARChI Chair in Industrial Development, College of Business and Economics, Univeristy of Johannesburg, South Africa