Industry leaders have called for improved relations between government and private sector in promoting enterprise development.
Roy Ross, chief executive of Business Banking Africa at Barclays Africa told CNBC Africa’s National Development Plan debate that there was need to exert more efforts towards entrepreneurs.
“We have to release entrepreneur to be able to do what they do best and that is creating businesses, employing people and get on with making money,” he said.
“If you look at the role that we play in enterprise development, that platform is designed to do exactly that, directing people in a much more concentrated fashion rather than let people run around like headless chickens.”
Matsi Modise, executive director of South African Black Entrepreneurs Forum said, opportunities should meet the ability, readiness and willingness of entrepreneurs to take advantage of it.
“It is all good that the government is going to create the platform and framework, but we have to invest in black entrepreneurs,” she said.
“Have we invested in grooming the next black industrialists and what industries will these black industrialists come from,” she asked.
Nomvula Makgotlho, chief director in the Ministry of Small Businesses South Africa added that, it was good to create platforms adding that there was a need for people to take these opportunities.
“The culture of entrepreneurship should be harnessed starting from primary school up to tertiary level so people can go into entrepreneurship as a first choice,” said Makgotlho.
“The reality of the matter in our country is that there is a lot of unemployment, in order for most people to get a source of livelihood is to go into some small business which in most cases is a fall back after exhausting all options,” she added.
Makgotlho said the government has realised the need to develop enterprises so that they can produce quality products and service on time whenever it is required.
Miriam Altman from the National Planning Commission warned against heavy focus on meeting BEE codes saying the country had experienced changes over the past 15 years.
“Share ownership does not make one a black industrialist [BEE codes arguably promote share ownership]. I have met a number of black industrialists some of them are scientists and engineers,” she said.
Altman also warned that the system was too fragmented and needed to more collaborative.
“There is a lot of fragmentation within the system, we need to identify what the national government should be doing and there should be more partnership with the private sector.”