SOWETAN, Business Page 16
The government must intervene to ensure that the R2,2-billion worth of soon-to-be-sold-off 3.9% black economic empowerment stake in Absa remains in the hands of BEE shareholders. This is the view of the HBR (Hola Bon Renaissance) Foundation, a civil society organisation promoting BEE and effective public governance. HBR wants the government to acquire the shares through any of the publicowned financial entities, including the Public Investment Commission, the Industrial Development Corporation and the National Empowerment Fund and “warehouse them until another BEE consortium interested in investing in the banking sector is identified”. The foundation says the identified public financial institutions could buy the shares at an agreed or market-related price and then be warehoused for 12 months while suitable BEE entities are sought.