Johannesburg - The role of the Black Management Forum (BMF) was to influence government policies, its re-elected president Jimmy Manyi said on Thursday.
Opening the BMF's annual conference in Midrand, he said many from government had been invited to the conference as the present government was "a new administration and the BMF must understand what is happening behind the scenes and what government thinking is today".
Manyi said he was trying to understand why his critics thought his roles as BMF president and director general of the labour department were in conflict.
"A journalist asked me yesterday [Wednesday] what I would do if the department of labour wants this and the BMF wants that. That would be a direct clash.
"Who doesn't have direct clashes?" he asked.
Manyi said the policies of the BMF and of the department of labour were "so aligned," that he did not foresee clashes.
"I can't think of one thing the department of labour wants that the BMF opposes."
Manyi said the department of labour demanded that workers were well looked after, and the BMF was of the same opinion.
"The department of labour also wants health and safety issues to be seen as paramount - and so does the BMF."
Turning to one of the conference's themes, that of aligning schooling with higher education, Manyi said the BMF was "nervous" that so many pupils left school before completing matric.
He said the more time spent at school, the better the chances were of finding a job.
According to Manyi, an important challenge was to align higher education to what South Africa's economy required.
We are nervous about these alignment issues and we are eager to hear what policy makers have to say."
On Wednesday, Manyi was re-elected president of the BMF after another contender for the position, Shell SA's chairperson and vice president of sales and marketing Bonang Mohale, withdrew his nomination.