“The president’s [State of the Nation Address] was very good in presenting the success especially in the economic front, and also in addressing the social imbalances. However, I think it fell short in terms of the impact that the Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment had in transforming the economic environment of our society,” SizweNtsalubaGobodo CEO Victor Sekese told CNBC Africa.
“I think there’s been some achievement as far as B-BBEE is concerned but I believe there’s still a long way to go in terms of achieving what we want to see.”
Sekese added the emergence of large black-owned and black-managed enterprises since the Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (B-BBEE) legislation have also been few, in spite of President Jacob Zuma’s call for more black industrialists in his address.
B-BBEE is legislation that acts as a transformative measure to enable South Africa’s black majority more access and opportunities to the country’s business and economic landscape.
“We need to step up and maybe have a vision driven by government to say ‘what does government say around the establishment, development and support of large black-owned enterprises?’” Sekese added.
The changes to the B-BBEE legislative framework are however encouraging and moving in the right direction, but the lack of cohesion among role players, even within government, has been an additional setback.
“There’s lack of cohesion which I think, at the centre of it, is because there’s no strategic vision around this. The Department of Trade and Industry [for example can] come up with a nice framework. [When] you deal with other departments, they come up with policy frameworks that contradict the objectives of what the DTI has come up with. You get a sense that the policy makers are not talking from the same reference source,” Sekese explained.
Getting to the heart of B-BBEE’s setbacks is however not an easy issue to address, but putting forward a vision and ensuring that other plans revolve around that vision will be key in the future success of the legislation.
“In policy framework, and in decisions that are being made, what is it that we want to achieve? What we see now [is] contradictions in various sectors in B-BBEE, and particularly around enterprise development, large enterprises which have an impact on employment [and] in transforming the economy,” said Sekese.