SA ‘needs a new BBBEE approach’

President of the Johannesburg Chamber of Commerce Shawn Theunissen has said while the establishment of the Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment Advisory Council acknowledges the slow pace of economic transformation, the lack of capacity and enforcement capability remains unresolved.

Theunissen said the new council must guard against being another initiative that “lacks teeth and has little impact”.

He said economic transformation efforts have not created enough successful black industrialists, black talent in senior and executive leadership positions, enough sustainable small black businesses or inclusive local community development initiatives.

“We need results, and we need to know what will be done differently this time around because nothing new was being raised in the recent announcement,” Theunissen said.

“We want to know how the advisory council will use their insights to drive meaningful change… they need to tell us what mechanisms they will put in place that are more impactful and effective than the systems that are currently in place.

“They also need to facilitate intentionality and collaboration to ensure measurable outcomes on strategic initiatives such as employability programmes, infrastructure, and spend among others.”

Theunissen suggested the council employ new measures to ensure meaningful change and to help black-owned SMEs gain access to more opportunities. These include investing in campaigns to drive the procurement of goods and services from black-owned businesses by the government and the private sector, and offering incentives for businesses that procure from black-owned small SMEs.

President Cyril Ramaphosa last week appointed a 14-member advisory council that will be responsible for guiding the government on the “intensified transformation” of the economy.

Some of its members include Black Business Council CEO Kganki Matabane and black business doyenne Gloria Serobe.

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