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Blacks still have a raw deal - Mkhize

Oct 01 2017 06:00
Lesetja Malope

Zweli Mkhize, tesourier-generaal van die ANC: "Daar sal altyd debatte oor die leierskap wees en dit is nie iets om oor bekommerd te raak nie, solank dit eerlik en regverdig is en nie in die geheim plaasvind nie. "

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Johannesburg - ANC treasurer-general Zweli Mkhize has taken a swipe at corporate South Africa, saying its lack of transformation means black people still face an unfair battle when climbing the corporate ladder.

In fact, businesses had managed to reverse some of their transformation gains, he told the Black Business Council’s (BBC’s) radical economic transformation summit at the Industrial Development Corporation on Friday.

“We need to deal with the fact that there is, at the moment, hardly a change in the number of white CEOs and male CEOs, which is at 68% to 70%.”

He said there had been a decrease in the proportion of black CEOs, from 15% in 2002 to 9% in 2015, indicating a reversal in the gains of transformation in the private sector.

“Largely, the problem of confidence and the trust deficit between government and the private sector is an issue that has caused us quite a bit of challenges.

“All those companies, corporate entities, bodies that are kind of committed to transformation, look at their pipeline of leaders,” he said, adding that in the top 40 JSE-listed companies, almost 80% of the CEOs were either white or foreign.

He said the lack of transformation in boardrooms across the economic sectors needed to be addressed with the help of government.

Quoting sentiments he had heard from an analyst, which he said had made a big impression on him, Mkhize said black people in corporations still needed to go the extra mile to be considered equal to their white peers.

There was a tendency to demonise black-owned companies who did business with government, with phrases like “tenderpreneurs”, and consider them intrinsically corrupt.

“At the end of the day, government is the largest procurer of goods and services and is the largest financial customer for anybody.

“You have the biggest companies thriving on the basis of doing business with government,” he said.

Mkhize also took a swipe at the financial services sector and said it still regarded black people as a higher risk.

“In the past they did not finance you because you were black and living in a township.

“Today, if you're black you are a higher risk than if you are white. The issues are there is no law against it.”

Speaking earlier, BBC president Danisa Baloyi said the state had given a foreign company a banking licence and none to locals. She was presumably referring to TymeDigital getting the go-ahead for digital banking.

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zweli mkhize  |  race  |  corporates  |  transformation

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