Much has been said and written about the reasons for the slow progress of the Black Economic Empowerment interventions in South Africa. This research paper aims to explore the meaning of empowerment in the South African context, with the objective of uncovering what real and holistic empowerment means given the particular history of the country. Apartheid, through its social re-engineering intervention, targeted the minds of both whites and blacks to send an unequivocal message to each racial group about their superiority and inferiority as a race, respectively. Suffice to say; to have a nation whose majority still harbours feelings of inferiority would not only impede the progress of BEE interventions but pose a serious restraint to economic growth. It requires directed and deliberate effort to reverse a habit or to renew a mind-set; to that end this research assesses whether the current BBBEE policy is an adequate antidote to the effects of Apartheid on the minds of blacks. This study concludes that psychological empowerment is a necessary condition for economic empowerment; indicating that the current BBBEE policy is less efficacious as it does not address the essence of psychological disempowerment.