Mantashe: Black business must deliver

2012-08-21 21:28

Johannesburg - Black business should deliver affordable, quality products and services if it wants government contracts, ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe said on Tuesday.

"As we support black business, black business must bring a commitment of delivery, cost-competitive and quality of items that are procured," he told analysts and business people in Soweto.

He asked why a government-built school cost a minimum of R20m to construct, while a private sector-funded school only cost around R5m to R10m.

"Something is wrong with this system of creating layers and layers of business because the primary objective of building a school is made secondary... to creating business beneficiaries."

He was addressing analysts as part of the African National Congress's programme to speak to various sectors in South Africa.

Mantashe said the primary outcome of the ANC lekgotla in July was that the government needed to drop the system of tenders.

It needed to move away from giving business to black companies, and then afterwards arguing about quality and cost.

"Don't undermine this question of people delivering bridges that get eroded with the first rainfall. It can't continue. It just can't continue. It is wrong. It is wrong."

Mantashe suggested that black businesses look to SizweNtsalubaGobodo, South Africa's largest black auditing firm, as an example of how to succeed.

The company started small, but now handled the entire audit account of parastatal Transnet because of the quality of its work, Mantashe said.

He said the ANC would meet the Black Business Council (BBC) to discuss the strengths and failures of black economic empowerment (BEE) and the role of state procurement in transformation of the economy.

A representative from the BBC had complained that the government's procurement policy had gone wrong.

Various delegates raised questions about the effectiveness of BEE policies.

Mantashe responded that he had a problem with the idea of BEE.

"I have a serious grievance with BEE... focusing on shareholding with beneficiaries not being operational."

He said if the beneficiaries of BEE deals were not part of operations, they were not gaining a deeper understanding of the business in order to grow.

"Operational exposure, to me, is more powerful than just ownership..."

Not a window-shopping CEO

Mantashe drew parallels with when the Afrikaners were in power from 1948 to 1994.

"Afrikaner capital, after 40 years in power,... they couldn't produce a single CEO of mining, not one."

All CEOs of mining companies up until 1994 were white and English.

"We should not wait for 40 years to produce genuine black CEOs who can run companies."

He commended Xstrata's South African CEO Sipho Nkosi for not being a "window-shopping CEO".

"Sipho Nkosi is not a big shareholder, but he is very operational... he knows mining. To me, that is how we are going to transform the economy."

When questioned about factions within the ANC, Mantashe said they had been around for years.

"I wish we can have an organisation that has no factions."

He spoke of a Pan-Africanist faction splitting from the ANC amid "violent polemics" in 1959.

"It was then, it is today, it will be in future," Mantashe said.

However, he said: "When there are confrontations in an organisation, we always exaggerate them as always a division about to see a split. I think that is a flawed analysis when there are politicians."

He said the contradictions helped move the party forward.

"The fact that people have different views... actually it sharpens you."

  • errol.wagner - 2012-08-21 22:26

    He forgets that Afrikaner capital built Rembrandt, and that is just one example. Read the story of Anton Rupert as he went from farm to farm to raise capital from Afrkaners.

      matthew.swanepoel.9 - 2012-08-22 07:21

      SizweNtsalubaGobodo only handle Transnets entire audit because of "Affirmative Action".

      denis.dendrinos - 2012-08-22 13:34

      True Matthew - but also so that the auditors are singing from the same hymn book about hiding irregularities. Why do you think gov insisted that one ex-scorpians boss (name escapes me right now) be fired?

      jc.jonck - 2012-11-01 09:22

      @ Matthew. True story, my friend was on the Transnet audit team at Deloitte. Because Deloitte didn't want to give them a 100% black audit team, Deloitte got fired.

  • gerald.king.589 - 2012-08-21 22:37

    In a perfect world maybe. You have to slip that envelope of cash with officials, thats the only competition around here.

      blue.spheric - 2012-08-22 05:50

      I agree with you Gerald...I started out in business with sound under table stuff...I wouldn't be using a computer from my office if I had kept that business ethic. Sad...but true!!!

  • mike.dufham.7 - 2012-08-22 06:44

    Joke of the month. Ha ha

      gerasimos.komnenus - 2012-08-22 07:45

      I agree Mike. While the sentiments of Mantashe might be laudable the reality is he sets himself up as a fool because his illusions of grandeur are mocked by poor education, corruption, cadre deployment, legislated job reservation, racial,quotas and all the other things that are the ANC joke. They think they are criticized and made fun of because of some unfounded racist prejudice against them when in reality it is a result of frustration and incredulousness at their clumsy attempts to be part of the modern productive world. The ANC joke is shrouded in "loyalty" to the party that stifles individual growth and camouflages their miserable failure.

  • peter.fraser.92754 - 2012-08-22 06:56

    These dudes jumps around like fleas on a dogs back.Today we address this, today we address that.....and then buggerall happens ! Now they are looking for another iMr Delivery.Heavens above people,,,tackle one project at at time.

  • gerasimos.komnenus - 2012-08-22 07:30

    Just like the Matric results the ANC will no doubt start fudging the figures to "prove" they can do it. Unless Blacks take a reality pill and scrap the skewed illusion created by BEE, AA, BS etc. they will go nowhere. Afrikaaners were streets ahead in terms of real commitment, gumption, innovation and determination. They already had 300 years of "selfless struggle" behind them and their Calvinistic work ethic put them in good stead to achieve their goals. There was no silver spoon. They put the nightmare of war and concentration camps behind them and got on with the job. They talked a talk AND then walked the walk. ANC just talks and talks and takes and takes.

  • allan.keyzer - 2012-08-22 08:14

    BEE is the world biggest pyramid scheme where only the top few that are politically connected can ever succeed in obtaining tenders. The main beneficiaries are politicians and ANC cadre all at the expense of the taxpayer and the poor masses who end up with nothing but promises

      alan.jerrold - 2012-08-22 09:24

      Excellent comparison, Allan.K. The ANC is nothing but a giant Ponzi scheme, and the ignorant mass of voters who keep them in power are the suckers who are perpetually getting ripped off. WHEN will they LEARN??????

  • quartus.vanzyl - 2012-08-22 08:29

    Welcome to the real world mr. Mantashe. The whole world know for years now, about the tenderpreneurs at work in SA.

  • richard.fahrenfort - 2012-08-22 10:30

    "Operational exposure, to me, is more powerful than just ownership..." That is the smartest thing I have ever heard Mantashe say so far ever.

  • leonard.rom.7 - 2012-08-22 10:39

    like eskom and road agents and municipality

  • denis.dendrinos - 2012-08-22 13:33

    There is hope....... I don't care what colour you are - but do your job properly - deliver what your supposed, when you're supposed to and at the best price possible!

  • bernard.jansen.982 - 2012-10-14 20:49

    That is what happens when you hire comrades because they are comrades. There are no abilities and we never get the tenders unless a comrade is our partner. crazy stuff. see who got the Medupi boiler tender. That project will run over budget by at least 100%.

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