JSE ownership figures are not black and white
Whichever way you look at it, black ownership of the JSE does not r ef l ec t t he demographics of South Africa. But t he extent of black ownership has become the subject of heated debate following President Jacob Zuma’s assertion that black ownership of the JSE is 3%. And although determination of black ownership should be a relatively easy exercise, every analysis uses different methodologies, with very different results.
The research on which Zuma bases his assertion does not make these 3% claims itself. In fact, its f indings show that black ‘control’ of the JSE, which is a different measure than ownership, was just 1.3% in 2014.
The JSE, however, has agreed with Zuma. “Insofar as the direct investment that black South Africans hold in listed entities on the JSE, we roughly concur that the holding is 3%. When direct and indirect holdings are included as a value of the Top 100 listed entities on the JSE, the f igure is 23%,” it said in a statement.
The data from independent research organisation Who Owns Whom, on which Zuma’s statement is indirectly based according to presidency spokesman Mac Maharaj, measures control and not ownership. This, according to Who Owns Whom, is established by looking at shareholding, shareholding spread and board composition to determine control of management and therefore the company cash f low. It only includes among black-controlled companies or director-controlled companies those holding over 26% with no other dominant shareholder.
Ownership f igures are something completely different.
Maharaj said that the 3% was based on the measure used by the National