n Acta Commercii - Effect of Black Economic Empowerment on profit and competitiveness of firms in South Africa : original research

Volume 14, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 2413-1903
  • E-ISSN: 1684-1999



The key obstacle hindering optimal profitability levels and competitiveness in firms in South Africa is the application of labour legislation policies and tools aimed at narrowing the income gap between different racial groups and resolving inequality amongst a diverse workforce.

This article determined whether the implementation of a Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) policy by companies has a positive effect on their growth in terms of profits and competitiveness.
This study determined whether the implementation of BEE could be profitable for companies.
A quantitative study was undertaken in order to find empirical evidence supporting the relation between high BEE Scores, profitability and competitiveness. The empirical investigation utilised regression analysis, correlations and other methods, based on data between January 2009 and December 2011. The BEE Scorecard was used to obtain BEE scores of the top 50 BEE companies. Thereafter, the top 50 companies' financial information was gathered from the Johannesburg Securities Exchange.
The implementation of BEE within companies has a positive effect on profitability, turnover and investment. Numerous factors have, however, been hindering, while other factors enhanced the success of BEE.
The findings encourage mangers to engage in BEE as it may facilitate higher profits and indicates where labour legislation could be improved.
Value was added through new research determining the effects of BEE and labour legislation on profitability and competitiveness of firms on a micro-level.

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