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BEE review: Buck stops at DTI

Apr 10 2007 21:23
Cape Town - Trade and Industry Minister Mandisi Mpahlwa was best placed to comment on black economic empowerment (BEE), the finance department said after its minister told a newspaper BEE had been abused.

"It is something that falls within the domain of dti (department of trade and industry)," finance department spokesperson Thoraya Pandy said on Tuesday.

Finance Minister Trevor Manuel called for a review of BEE policy during an interview with the Financial Times.

While Pandy did not deny that Manuel had made such a statement, she said it was mentioned within a certain context.

"When they asked him about BEE, he made it clear that it did not fall under his area.

"However, he did say that just like any other government policy, BEE needed to be reviewed to look at what works and what does not," she said.

Pandy said it was not improper for Manuel to comment on the policy.

"He is part of the government's economic cluster and as a result has to make an input on issues such as BEE policy," she said.

The Democratic Alliance said it would support a review of BEE.

"A review of BEE would be an excellent opportunity to... see whether it has succeeded in effecting the broad-based empowerment of the disenfranchised, or whether it has merely offered a few politically connected individuals the opportunity to enrich themselves," said the DA's Pierre Rabie.

The dti was not immediately available for comment.

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