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Antonio Mancini (2011) From De Beers to the BEE: The relationship between Politics, Big Business and the IFIs in South Africa until 1997
Faculty of Political Sciences “Roberto Ruffilli” – Forlì- University of Bologna Visiting Scholar of Centre for Civil Society – University of Kwazulu-Natal – Forlì- University of Bologna : -.

From the discovery of gold and diamond in Kimberley and Witwatersrand, the history of South Africa has been influenced and modeled from its relationship with big business, in particular the mining sector. This paper would to reproduce a brief history of this relationship with a reconstruction of the salient moments and the principal influences that big business and the International Financial Institutions (IFIs) has had in shaping the post-apartheid South Africa. In particular this paper would to offer a critical assessment of the great leverage that mining and energy sectors has in the formulation of the ANC’s politics in the democratization process. In this study will be explored the political and economic orientation of ANC and how this has been shaped by two force: big business and international force. In this way will be addressed a brief exploration of the Black Economic Empowerment, in particular until 1997. In the final part there will be two conclusions. The first is that big business was “under a glass bell”, because of its great importance for the economy of South Africa. The second one, and related to the first, is that ANC, despite his will to redress the imbalance of the Apartheid with BEE, has had to adapt to the leverage of mining and international forces, searching for a quiet transformation and transition from a white – dominated state to an anti- discrimination one.

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