President Zuma stands by JSE remarks

By Drum Digital
01 March 2015

President Jacob Zuma on Sunday reiterated his previous assertion pinning black ownership of the Johannesburg Stock Exchange at three percent, the Presidency said.

His remarks made in reply to the state-of-the-nation address last month, apparently "incurred the wrath of some economic commentators," presidency spokesman Mac Maharaj said in a statement.

"The president stands by his assertion, which was based on the measure used by the National Empowerment Fund (NEF) to assess direct black ownership and control in the South African economy, using the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) as a proxy."

Maharaj said commentators had contested Zuma's statistic by referring to a statement from the JSE that suggested black ownership of the top 100 companies had increased to 23 percent.

However, Maharaj pointed out various technical differences between how the different sets of statistics were arrived at -- pointing out that the figures Zuma cited were based on establishing "direct ownership" and "direct shareholding".

"It is essential that the ownership landscape of entities operating in South Africa reflects that the majority of people living in the country are black people.

"This is key in order to confront our past as a country and redress the imbalances caused by the legacy of apartheid."

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