It is almost as if this is some get-rich-quick scheme for the well-connected alone.
Do I therefore feel it ought to be done away with? Perhaps.
This is not to say I do not acknowledge that racial oppression and exploitation has given rise to inequalities we as a nation face today. I accept that because our privileged and obscenely rich white counterparts are reluctant to share freely, government must quite necessarily intercede in the economy to even out the playing field, otherwise a revolution becomes inevitable because arapacious few lead a life of opulence when the majority famishes.
This is our sickening reality, unfortunately.
But then what else must happen?
I don’t know, but let me attempt to give an answer.
BEE, for me, is when big corporations fund and provide resources like laboratories and libraries to schools located in areas where they operate. We do not want rural children to come face to face with technology for the first time when they go to big cities later in their lives, do we?
BEE is when we pay our teachers and nurses and cops well, and holding them accountable for the achievement of continuously improving learner grades and for a more compassionate health system and for a safer environment. In other words give the public service a more humane face for it to function optimally.
BEE is when corporates commit to giving learners holiday jobs so that they acquire skills and develop a work ethic at an early age, in the process denying them too much free time to engage in destructive ways.
BEE is when there is no need for a black child to travel hundreds of kilometres to stand in a long queue in order to register at a university because there are university registration centres in districts across the country. In other words, remove the obstacles for a black child to get sufficiently equipped to run the economy.
BEE is when a black civil engineer is not snubbed when a bridge being erected in his own town of birth.
BEE is when van der Merwe does not wait for a revolution but out of his own desire stops exploiting and oppressing farm workers, instead empowering them with skills so that they are able to effectively run their own farming activities.
We cannot rely on privileged and obscenely rich whites to give us our dignity back. We have to wage a struggle among us, a struggle that seeks to empower us without the help of another. Great and lasting progress will be achieved if black people focused within their own communities and single-mindedly supported one another.
In that sense then BEE is when you stop piracy and start buying black music and actually attending gigs to support talent among us.
BEE is when you buy (and actually read!) black literature. Black writers in general do not have the support of mainstream distributors. They therefore need their own communities to support them.
BEE is when your family dentist is black, your GP too.
BEE is when your plumber and your architect and you builder are black.
BEE is when you buy your loaf of bread from a black owned bakery, your milk and cheese and yogurt and delicious ice cream from a black owned dairy store.
BEE is when you have a black lawyer by your side when you need one.
BEE, my black sister, is when you use a black gynaecologist.
Do we have black-owned car dealerships? Find out and buy your next car there.
White people do not travel to townships to do their hair, and that’s fine. Similarly, black people should not be traveling to town to support a white owned salon when there are black brothers and sisters who are perfectly capable to make us look good in our own community.
This form of movement, ultimately, is what defines self-reliance. It is real BEE, and it is bound to make us feel so proud and empowered that it becomes completely unnecessary to beg greedy whites to share privileges and wealth acquired through the vile exploitation of blacks.