Johannesburg - A new Black Business Council (BBC) will be formed
under the chairpersonship of businessman Patrice Motsepe as an umbrella body to
ensure unity among black business, a Black Business Summit decided on
In a statement, the summit said black business would also
immediately suspend its participation in Business Unity SA (Busa).
"This summit marks the beginning of a new era in that
black business is defining its own agenda and taking control of its own destiny,"
"It will shape the South African economy, which will
lead to an economic revolution that will see the country establishing itself as
a global powerhouse."
The Black Business Council was founded in 1996 by black
businessmen and professionals to play a central role in key national economic
initiatives, but merged with Business South Africa in 2003 to form the chief
business lobby group Busa.
In his keynote address to the summit, President Jacob Zuma
said unity in business was important to the government.
"The unity of the business sector is paramount in
ensuring the achievement of the transformation goals. As government, we need a
unified and united business voice to work with," he said.
"The time to differ, I think, is gone, it's now time to
find one another."
The summit was convened by the Confederation of Black
Business Organisations after the Black Management Forum withdrew from Busa in
At the time, it said Busa's structure was fundamentally
flawed, with the voice of black business "permanently outnumbered and
Busa CEO Nomaxabiso Majokweni and president Futhi Mtoba were
reportedly asked to leave the summit on Tuesday.
Confederation vice-president Bafana Ndendwa told Business
Day there would not have been a chance for "natural discussion" had
they been in the room.
On Wednesday, the Black Business Summit said delegates had
worked from the premise that after 17 years of democracy, some progress had
been made, but that more meaningful black participation in the economy was a
It was decided that black business needed to revert to its
original name and mission.
The BBC would immediately engage with Busa on a range of
policy, structural and constitutional issues.
This process would be led by a team put together from a
steering committee consisting of the presidents of national organisations and
black business stalwarts, which would lead the new body under Motsepe.
Associations represented at the summit were the: Black IT
Forum, Association of Black Securities and Investment Professionals,
Association of Black Accountants of SA, Black Management Forum, Black Lawyers'
Association, Foundation for African Business and Consumer Services and African
Federated Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
Also represented were the: Black Business Executive Circle,
National Black Business Caucus, SA Black Technical and Allied Careers'
Organisation, National Society of Black Engineers SA, SA Women Entrepreneurs'
Network, SA Women in Construction, and Women in Food and Hospitality.
During the summit four commissions deliberated on economic
transformation, small, medium and micro enterprises (SMME) development, the
infrastructure investment commission, and the land reform commission.
In its statement, the summit said it had decided that black business had to be defined (which included the building of a new community
of black entrepreneurs), that a black venture capital fund had to be established
to ensure access to finance and that the government should allocate funding for
the BBC's activities.
On SMMEs it resolved that, among other things, the national
skills fund accelerate the provision of funding for entrepreneurship education.
It also found that Construction Industry Development Board
gradings needed to be urgently overhauled, that unreasonable guarantees should be done
away with and a mechanism of underwriting these guarantees be provided, and
that so-called fronting be criminalised, with a turnover or income-based-penalty.
The land claims process had to be fast-tracked and a 15-year moratorium imposed on the resale of land acquired through land reform;
land sales transactions had to include structured community development plans
and programmes, and a land tax should be levied on unused land.
The summit resolved that an agency be created within the BBC
to help communities with the land claims process.