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We need more wealthy black South Africans - Manyi

Aug 21 2015 20:01
Mpho Raborife, News24

Johannesburg - Rich black South African entrepreneurs should not be expected to share their wealth, Progressive Professionals Forum president Mzwanele Jimmy Manyi said on Friday.

"Entrepreneurship is an individual concept. It is the person who wakes up and tosses around on the bed trying to get an idea across," he said.

"And when you try and get funding for your idea, then you get asked, 'Where is the village?' I mean really, how are we gonna make advancements?"

Manyi was part of a panel discussing corporate transformation in South Africa, hosted by the Black Management Forum in Johannesburg.

Panel member, International Labour Organisation director Vic van Vuuren, had discussed the matter of income inequality in the corporate sector.

Van Vuuren raised the matter of the few in top positions getting richer, while those below them continued to suffer.

"What we've got is an elitism out there and we're not recognising the poverty of the people below, at middle and lower levels and we need to start recognising that," he said.

More black people needed to come into top positions, but the current gap between the few who were rich and poor was too wide, he said. 

"We need to recognise that the gap that is up there is getting far too big in terms of leaving behind the rest of our society, who are predominantly black in South Africa."

Manyi said there should not be a stigma around those who had managed to gain wealth.

"Let's not try and demonise advancement of black people by stigmatising wealthy black people and seeing them as this elite, as if it's something they shouldn't be."

In fact, the country needed more black and wealthy people, he said.

"You don't have many Ruperts even in the white community. So why is it that when it's blacks, the only type of empowerment that we qualify for is that you must have two cents [each], then you are all empowered. Not one of you must have a R1 000, what nonsense is this?"

jimmy manyi  |  sa economy  |  entrepreneurs


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