The impact of black empowerment on family businesses in the Vaal Triangle : an exploratory study
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South Africa requires an economy that can meet the needs of all its citizens in a sustainable manner. This will only be possible if the economy builds on the potential of all persons and communities across the country. Government's objective is to achieve this vision of an adaptive economy characterised by growth, employment and equity by 2014. Black economic empowerment (BEE) emerged as a central objective of the Reconstruction and Development Plan, the original blueprint for transformation in South &ca The BEE Commission was established and in 2001 released its report which contained important recommendations on the adoption of a broad based BEE strategy, designed to co-ordinate measures to achieve meaningful participation by black people. The government attempts to work in partnership with the private sector and BEE will become evaluation criteria for business allocation, thus bearing a high degree of significance for any business, especially the family business. The family business plays an integral and important role in the South mean economy and also that of the Vaal Triangle. It is an important instrument in job creation, reversing unemployment and sustainable growth for the economy. As planning and succession planning is crucial for the family business in the turbulent business environment, this study attempts to provide a positive contribution to the continued existence of such businesses and the creation of new job opportunities. It seems likely that black economic empowerment will disrupt the traditions, norms and values of the typical family-owned business. The objective of the study is to investigate the impact that black empowerment will have on the unique characteristics and culture of the family business as well as succession and the future of the family business. The information was compiled by way of a literature and empirical study. In the empirical study the information was obtained through a questionnaire delivered by hand and collected within 48 hours. A total of 20 respondents returned the questionnaires. The data was processed and conclusions and recommendations made. It appears that many family businesses still remain uncertain about the implications of BEE and the value it can add to their businesses. Family business owners must understand the essence of the policy of BEE, and must realize that the initiative is not to discourage any business, but instead that they must seize the opportunity for growth. It is essential that family businesses realise the impact of BEE. Ultimately it will still be the choice of the family business owner to conform and adapt to the strategy of BEE. It should, however, be a business and economically viable decision, and not an emotional one. It is difficult to separate emotions from business decisions for the family business owner, but he/she must realise that the decision about BEE will have far reaching consequences for the whole family.