Tuesday, April 25, 2006

The South African model

Media outlets have been on an overdrive in trying to figure out a kinder, gentler version of affirmative action that would be acceptable to private industry. The current favourite seems to be the South African model. These two reports provide a summary. In particular, the Indian Express story has this (I don't know whether this has been operationalized):

The second leg of reforms to achieve "Black Economic Empowerment" (BEE) began in 2002 with the Government coming up with a "Strategy Document". The document noted that "progress has been recorded in undoing the legacy of the past, however, the extent to which this economic success has been shared by all of our people is still inadequate for the requirements of a stable and prosperous society."

The strategy envisions a "scorecard" approach by which the Government would measure progress achieved by various enterprises in fulfilling BEE objectives. "Using the scorecard as a guide, government will rank and categorise enterprises for the purposes of preferential procurement, restructuring of state-owned enterprises, financing and other kinds of support."