South Africa’s Economy Remains Firmly in White Ownership—Study

The Standard, December 9, 2012

South Africa’s black majority directly owns less than 10% of the Johannesburg stock market, a study showed on Thursday, evidence that Africa’s top economy remains firmly in white hands nearly two decades after the end of apartheid.

Despite the ruling African National Congress’ drive for “black economic empowerment”, under which firms are set black ownership and other targets, millions of blacks remain trapped in poverty and excluded from the formal economy.

Coming less than two weeks before the start of an ANC leadership election conference, the study will increase pressure on ANC President Jacob Zuma for more “black empowerment”, widely criticised for creating a politically connected, self-serving black corporate elite.

In June, Zuma called for a “dramatic shift” to redress the wealth balance in favour of blacks, who account for 80% of South Africa’s 52 million people.

“If you look at the demographics of this country, what would be normal is that no less than 50% of the JSE [Johannesburg Stock Exchange] should be owned by black people,” ANC spokesman Keith Khoza said.


Frustrated by the slow pace of change, the ANC’s Youth League has called for the wholesale nationalisation of mines and banks and the seizure of white-owned farms—a policy that triggered economic meltdown in neighbouring Zimbabwe in 2000.


The JSE-commissioned study showed that black investors directly hold 9% of the bourse’s top 100 companies, which represent nearly 90% of its US$834 billion market capitalisation.

Black ownership rises to 21% when pension funds and other indirect holdings are taken into account, and a heady 33% when foreign holdings of Africa’s biggest stock market are stripped out.

But some experts question the ability to track black ownership through pension funds, which ultimately represent thousands of people, or exchange traded funds.

“I have a problem with what comes after the 9%,” said Duma Gqubule, a consultant who specialises in black ownership issues. “In South Africa, we’d call it manga manga accounting—financial witchcraft.”


Despite the ANC’s misgivings, a black business lobby group said the incremental progress made had hammered home the need to redress three centuries of white economic dominance.

“There’s reasonable progress in the level of ownership by black people, notwithstanding the fact that the economy has not grown significantly over the last year,” Sandile Zungu, head of the Black Business Council, told Talk Radio 702.

“What that really means is that there’s beginning to be an attitude among South Africans that we have to transform the economy.”

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  • I am not surprised. Blacks were never prepared to take over from whites and do not have the business acumen to succeed. Did Mandela and the ANC expect whites to just roll over and die, I think that they realize that if all white South Africans were to leave the country, it would become a third world country overnight.

    • You Are Now Enriched

      We will see the rise of the Cult of Racial John Galtism.

      Whites will begin to respond to the growing Diversity Consequence on their family wealth by going underground. Brass and lead will become the commodity of choice.

      • So CAL Snowman

        I make italian tax evaders look like White Middle Class people from New York.

    • Howard W. Campbell

      This would also assume that most blacks in South Africa could think far enough ahead to consider what it means to own stock.

      • GeneticsareDestiny

        This is likely one of the main issues. On average, blacks simply have horrible future-planning skills. They literally cannot think more than a week or so ahead. Also, the entire idea of owning stock is a complicated, abstract thought. It requires you to understand that businesses can be owned by multiple people, and that the profits from the company directly affect the value of the stock holdings.

        That’s just too much for your average African.

      • They don’t. The average black lives in a shack in a township. They have no idea what stocks are.

  • You Are Now Enriched

    “Transform” wealth from White families to a few black politicians and cronies, same as here in America.

    • Liberalsuck

      There is going to come a point where whites everywhere are going to strike back violently. The anger is growing. Our patience is diminishing. We are tired of what’s going on and how arrogant and violent blacks and mexicans are getting. The Wrath of the Awakened Saxon poem is always stuck in my mind.

  • Liberalsuck

    Blacks and anti-white bigots just don’t want whites to have any wealth or power. If this were a majority white country, it would be blamed on the fact whites are “privileged” because there are more of us. In countries where whites are the minority and nonwhites are the majority, our wealth is accused of racism because “how can a small group of people be better off than the native population.” Just pure anti-white bigotry.

    • So CAL Snowman

      Using liberal arguments, we must be the “superior” race right? I mean if a handful of White people in an african country can acquire all the wealth by “oppressing” the africans how can you argue that we are not superior. If we are so outnumbered by the africans how do they not rise up and overthrow White power/wealth? Conversely in a White majority country we acquire all of our wealth “on the backs of non whites.” So again we must be more intelligent or craftier to devise a system in which we extract massive amounts of wealth out of a small non white population. Either way we are scheming and making plans and they aren’t, which proves that we must be more intelligent.

  • So CAL Snowman

    I agree with the ANC on this one. White business owners should sell ALL of their stock in the Joburg market to idiot africans and cash out on top. Let the africans run yet another institution into the ground and fail their people yet again. It’s not like the average White South African is benefiting in any way from White Elite ownership of the stock market.

    • The__Bobster

      White business owners should sell ALL of their stock in the Joburg market to
      idiot africans and cash out on top.


      How would they do that? The idiot Afreakans have no money to buy the stock.
      And once word got out that Whites were cashing out, the market would drop like a

  • american_cavalier

    Hmmm. Let me ask Jeb the traitor Bush a question. When America becomes majority non-white but with white’s still owning 90% of the wealth, what do you think will happen. The majority will come and steal your money and your life. Cause and effect.

    • StillModerated

      That’s why Jeb’s a damn good Yankee. He went to Texas, married a Mexican and left. Now his kids are not white.

  • Laager

    Here we have classic black mentality in action – instant redress:
    “What that really means is that there’s beginning to be an attitude among [black] South Africans that we have to transform the economy.”
    i.e. nationalise, Affirmative Action, Black Economic Empowerment laws

    What Sandile Zungu hasn’t figured out is that it has taken whites 360 years to get to this position. They started out as market gardeners in 1652 and over time became commercial farmers miners and industrialists. In the same time frame the black African male sat under a thorn tree drinking beer during the day, procreated at night, whilst the women tilled the fields and the children tended to the cattle herds.
    And now it is everyone else’s fault that the black man has not prospered.
    As a bonus he blames it on colonialism, slavery and apartheid whilst he draws his government support benefits.
    If he is really honest he would be grateful that the white man is still around to create jobs and generate the taxes that supply the benefits to enable him to survive without working.
    No different to what he always did – sit under the thorn tree and drink beer whilst everyone else did the work.

  • Jefferson

    The capitalist entrepreneurial spirit is not as strong in the Black community as it is the White community (Jews, WASPs) and the Asian community (Koreans, Japanese).

    That is why even though Blacks are the overwhelming majority of South Africa population, they make up only a small percentage of South Africans who are successful and wealthy.

  • Commando

    @ You are now enriched
    John Galtism has been the thing for quite a while – not exactly as per Rand’s total withdrawal but inasmuch as we employers are cuttinng back on staff, postponing or totally cancelling any plans of diversifying or growing our companies, retiring earlier with less money in a more rural relaxed landscape, downsizing, etc etc. I myself am in a position to employ a lot of people ( not only in SA but also in neighbouring states ), but why would I want to sour my life with one disciplinary meeting after the next, and havinng to explain myself to a bunch of thick-headed brainless commie union bosses.

  • Epiminondas

    “Three centuries of white economic dominance.”

    Three centuries ago there were NO blacks in significant numbers in South Africa. It was essentially empty except for the occasional wandering aboriginals who were rarely seen. The Zulu were far to the north. Blacks were brought into South Africa by the Brits as mine workers and house servants. How did that desire for cheap labor work out?

    • StillModerated

      About as well as it worked out in South Carolina.

  • gemjunior

    How in the world does anybody expect Africans to understand stockholding when most can’t even understand the concept of plain banking. Many of these people in SA cities have migrated there from surrounding tribal villages and have extremely limited and concrete thinking abilities. In other words, in their view, there’s this magic place that whites go to where they just press buttons that only whites know, and money comes out just like that. Secrets all selfishly kept from blacks by evil whites. Then when you explain that it’s your own money, that it’s been put in the bank by you – they look at you like you’re crazy and ask why in the world you’d put your money in a bank when you only have to take it out again. Why make work for yourself .

  • I wonder how many of those ” whites” are israeli jews?

  • NorthernWind

    Isn’t it tragically hilarious that “black economic empowerment” always means taking stuff from others… It’s always zero sum game to these people, they won’t make anything for themselves.

  • Dave4088

    If whites still control this much of the economy then its time for hope and change comes to S. Africa.

  • StillModerated

    South Africa seems to be the perfect place to open up a store that sells purple hats, flashy shoes, shiny plated paste bling, low grade wine, and high end brandy