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President Cyril Ramaphosa says more needs to be done to expand and support black businesses in South Africa.
Speaking at the inaugural conference of black industrialists and exporters in Sandton on Wednesday (July 20), the president said the country’s black industrialists need greater representation in the economy.
While progress has been made around broad black economic empowerment (BBBEE), Ramaphosa said the transformation agenda “needs to shift into a higher gear”.
According to the president, the transformation agenda in the country is supported by two broad goals:
- Ensuring greater diversity in ownership and control of the economy; and,
- Promote emerging enterprises to drive inclusive industrialization.
To achieve these goals, there must be a focus on cutting red tape and tackling other obstacles within the state, he said. However, he stressed that the responsibility also lies with the private sector.
“We want a frank conversation about barriers to the expansion of black businesses, not only from the government, but also from the private sector,” he said.
“We need to talk about private sector procurement, value chains, access to finance for emerging black companies and how existing systems compete against emerging black companies.”
The president said that to improve the trajectory of broad black economic empowerment, fundamental reforms must address the country’s failing infrastructure.
The government must take the necessary measures to improve the condition of ports, railways and roads across the country, but there must also be more competition in the telecommunications industry, the energy and water sectors.
“These reforms are all necessary if we are to create conditions that will allow black industrialists to rise, grow and prosper.”
In June 2022, Ramaphosa appointed the country’s new BBBEE advisory board, which will be responsible for guiding the government in the “intensified transformation” of the economy.
Subsequently, the government made two major changes to the events and legal sector in South Africa.
The Department of Sports, Arts and Culture is in talks nationwide on a new BBBEE sector code for the Events, Technical and Production Services industry, aimed at transforming the events industry that has historically lagged behind the industry’s BEE targets.
The formation of a BBBEE sector code for the events industry comes after President Cyril Ramaphosa’s cabinet approved the publication of the Draft Legal Sector Code (Draft LSC) for public comment.
The draft code comes because the legal profession currently does not have a sector code to address the imbalances and inequalities in the profession.
Transformation was also a key topic in discussions between the government and some of the country’s major media houses, where there was “an agreement in principle about what needs to be done” in the industry.
The biggest transformation boost, however, comes from the new Employment Equality Act, which is expected to spearhead another transformation boost for the country.
The bill will enable the Minister of Employment and Labour, Thulas Nxesi, to set employment targets for various business sectors. The minister can set targets for different occupational levels, sub-sectors or regions.
The changes would also require the government to only issue contracts to companies certified as being in compliance with this law.
The bill is currently under consideration by President Cyril Ramaphosa. The cabinet is expected to complete the legislative process for the bill in September 2022.
Read: Triple blow hits companies in South Africa
Ramaphosa wants to push transformation in South Africa into ‘higher gear’ – UK Time News
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