INTRODUCING A NEW "BEE" CONCEPT
We all enjoy making BEE-phrases; BEE my honey, BEE happy, etc, these are all familiar to us. In this issue of the Journal we would like to take this further - BEE informed and BEE wise about the new "BEE", Black Economic Empowerment. In this Journal we introduce you to Government and Private Sector initiatives and contributions to Black Economic Empowerment in the Bee Industry in South Africa.
The domination of business activities by white business and the exclusion of black people and women in general from the mainstream of economic activity is a cause of great concern in the reconstruction and development process. It is for this reason that Black Economic Empowerment has occupied the government agenda from as early as 1994. The Reconstruction and Development Programme (RDP) identifies, as its central objective, the need to change business ownership and control based on race through
focused policies and Black Economic Empowerment.
Black Economic Empowerment is seen as:
. an integrated and coherent socio-economic process;
. located within the context of the country's national transformation programme, namely the RDP;
. aimed at redressing the imbalances of the past by seeking to substantially and equitably
transfer and confer the ownership, management and control of South Africa's financial and
economic resources to the majority of its citizens; and
. to ensure broader and more meaningful participation in the economy by black people in order to achieve sustainable development and prosperity.
Black Economic Empowerment should thus be viewed within the broader context of the empowerment processes, which include job creation, rural development, urban renewal, poverty alleviation, specific measures to empower black women, skills and management development, education, meaningful ownership, access to finance for households and for the purpose of conducting business.
Planning and implementation of Beekeeping projects in support of Black Economic Empowerment is currently being undertaken on various levels in all Provinces, ranging from local authority development planning to area based economic development planning. The challenge for developing rural beekeeping within all Provinces, alongside the existing commercial beekeeping industry, should be to merge these into a strong unified industry by putting in place a clear Provincial and National framework for the development of the Beekeeping Sector. This framework should include a clear indication
of the potentials that exist within the various regions and Provinces, and finally linking such potentials to the existing marketing opportunities.
We welcome these initiatives and the new generation of beekeepers, Hola Beekeeping South Africa!