Madikizela seeks to plug gap between government, black business

ANC politician Babalo Madikizela has vowed to bridge the gap between government and black businesses after stepping down as the MEC for public works and infrastructure in the Eastern Cape.

Madikizela announced his decision to resign from the portfolio and return to business after he lost to premier Oscar Mabuyane for the chairmanship of the ANC during the provincial elective conference in May.

Mabuyane appointed Madikizela as the public works MEC after the 2019 general elections. Prior to that, Madikizela had a short stint as the MEC for human settlement in 2018, after being elected as the ANC provincial treasurer during the 2017 ANC provincial elective conference.

Madikizela said he has identified a vacuum in that black businesses who want to be players in state procurement do not have a coordinated plan and do not speak in one voice to advance their interests.

“I want to be an activist in the politics of the economy. I want to be a chief volunteer for the success of black businesses in the Eastern Cape, using my experience on how the government works, the experience I acquired through running businesses, and the good relations with the current political leadership,” said Madikizela.

“There are lots of business chambers and business forums, but they are not speaking in one voice and that makes them not have a voice. They are poorly organised and poorly coordinated in terms of engaging government, understanding the information, and quite a number of them are financially illiterate.”

He added that he will remain active in ANC politics, but is not contesting any party position currently, and has denied that he is part of any faction within the ruling party.

“It’s just comrades making their wishes and I’m not involved in that [factional slates]. I was never part of planning those slates and I don’t even know if they are legitimate.”

Meanwhile, Mabuyane and his allies are nursing a big headache of having to find a sacrificial lamb to vacate a position from the provincial legislature after Madikizela said he is only resigning as the MEC, and not as the member of provincial legislature.

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