Sun City – Black South Africans shouldn't think that affirmative action and black economic empowerment (BEE) will go on forever. They must work hard to bring it to an end and normalise society, said Lwazi Bam, the new president of the Association for the Advancement of Black Accountants (Abasa).
"We must be impatient with the slow pace of transformation and work to hasten it so as to bring to it to an end," Bam told a conference on transformation of the accounting industry on Thursday.
Bam was making his inaugural speech after he was confirmed as president of the 25-year-old organisation, which aims to boost the number of black chartered accountants through facilitating training. Bam is also a senior executive at audit firm Deloitte.
"We need to have ambitious targets to accelerate the output of accountants," said Bam after listing his organisation's successes in the last five years.
In partnership with the SA Institute of Chartered Accountants (Saica), the association has helped increase the number of black accountants from an average of between 13% and 16% of the industry to the current 25%.
"Black partners make up 25% of the industry," said Bam. A total 905 black chartered accountancy candidates passed their exams this year, the highest number since the organisation's formation.
Bam said Abasa should not be allowed to celebrate another 25 years of transformation efforts, as transformation must be rendered irrelevant by its success.
"Time is not on our side; we need to accelerate transformation and make it irrelevant," said Bam.
Last year the University of Fort Hare received full Saica accreditation to carry out the training of accountants. Bam said more traditionally black universities needed to be accredited as training institutions. The University of Limpopo is also gaining Saica accreditation.