1st Edition

Ownership and Governance of Companies Essays from South Africa and the Global South

Edited By Jonathan Michie, Vishnu Padayachee Copyright 2021
    320 Pages
    by Routledge

    320 Pages
    by Routledge

    Apartheid South Africa was often thought to run in the interests of the business elite. Yet 27 years after apartheid, those business interests remain largely entrenched. Why? Did the South African business community play a role in engineering this outcome – perhaps recognising the apartheid era was over, and jumping ship in time? Conversely, the mission of the ANC was widely perceived to be to shift wealth and power into the hands of the whole community. Yet despite ‘black empowerment’ measures, corporate ownership remains largely in white hands – and certainly in the hands of an elite few, even though no longer restricted to whites.

    This picture is replicated across the global south, where corporate ownership tends to be concentrated in the hands of an elite, rather than being more democratically spread. Why have alternative corporate forms not been pursued more vigorously, with ownership in the hands of customers, employees, and local communities? In the case of South Africa, where the majority of customers and employees are black, this could have delivered on the ANC’s mission to replace the apartheid era with a democratic one – in terms of wealth, incomes and power, as well as in terms of voting and civic rights. This edited volume explores all these questions and looks at ways to align corporate forms with economic and social goals.

    The chapters in this book were originally published as special issues of International Review of Applied Economics.

    Introduction: How to align corporate forms with economic and social goals?

    Jonathan Michie and Vishnu Padayachee

    Part I: South African business in the transition to democracy

    1. South African business in the transition to democracy

    Jonathan Michie and Vishnu Padayachee

    2. From a developmental to a regulatory state? Sasol and the conundrum of continued state support

    Pamela Mondliwa and Simon Roberts

    3. The spread and internationalisation of South African retail chains and the implications of market power

    Reena Das Nair

    4. Surviving in the BRICS: the struggle of South African business in coping with new partners and investors

    N. Wenzel, B. Freund and O. Graefe

    5. South African manufacturing firms in transition

    David Francis, Gareth Roberts and Imraan Valodia

    6. The global ambitions of the biometric anti-bank: Net1, lockin and the technologies of African financialisation

    Keith Breckenridge

    7. Laying the table: the role of business in establishing competition law and policy in South Africa

    Jonathan Klaaren

    8. Collective counterveilence as a deterrent to entry: A reconsideration of the factors limiting competition in post-Apartheid South Africa

    Nobantu L. Mbeki

    9. "Volkskapitalisme" in the transition to democracy and beyond

    Vishnu Padayachee and Jannie Rossouw

    10. Steinhoff collapse: a failure of corporate governance

    Jannie Rossouw and James Styan

    Part II: Alternative forms of ownership and control in the global south

    11. Alternative forms of ownership and control in the global south

    Jonathan Michie and Vishnu Padayachee

    12. Pitfalls of participation: explaining why a strike followed unprecedented employee dividend pay-outs at a South African mine

    Andries Bezuidenhout, Christine Bischoff and John Mashayamombe

    13. Anglo-American corporation and corporate restructuring in post-apartheid South Africa

    Seeraj Mahomed

    14. Benefit corporations for Africa? A South African perspective on alternative corporate forms

    Jonathan Klaaren

    15. Producer collectives through self-help: sustainability of small tea growers in India

    Debdulal Saha

    16. Board remuneration, directors’ ownership and corporate performance: the South African evidence

    Tesfaye T. Lemma, Mthokozisi Mlilo and Tendai Gwatidzo

    17. The Uberisation of work: the challenge of regulating platform capitalism. A commentary

    Edward Webster

    18. Why did the ANC fail to deliver redistribution? A Review of Shadow of Liberation by Vishnu Padayachee and Robert van Niekerk (Wits University Press: Johannesburg, 2019)

    Jonathan Michie


    Jonathan Michie is Professor of Innovation and Knowledge Exchange at the University of Oxford, where he is President of Kellogg College. He is an Honorary Professor in the School of Economics and Finance at the University of the Witwatersrand. He Chairs the Universities Association for Lifelong Learning.

    Vishnu Padayachee is Distinguished Professor and Derek Schrier and Cecily Cameron Chair in Development Economics, in the School of Economics and Finance at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg. His books include Shadow of Liberation: Contestation and Compromise in the Economic and Social Policy of the ANC, with Robert Van Niekerk.