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Zikalala's BEE proposal angers opposition


Durban - MEC for economic development Sihle Zikalala’s call to reshape BEE policies was symptomatic of a leader void of any legislative savvy, opposition parties said.

This followed Zikalala’s attempt to keep Indians and coloured citizens from competing for state tenders exceeding R50 million.

Sihle Zikalala

The DA in KwaZulu-Natal condemned the “blatant racial agenda” driven by Zikalala.

Francois Rodgers, a DA MPL, said it made no sense to exclude, in government tenders, Indians, coloured citizens and Chinese who were in South Africa before 1994 who were historically classified as “black” and eligible to benefit from BEE initiatives.

“The move - under the guise of the ANC’s mantra of “radical economic transformation” - was set to see other previously disadvantaged sectors of the KZN community marginalised.

“This proposal will only further divide our province along colour lines. It is also proof that racial divisions are the order of the day for the ANC. Zikalala’s increasingly extreme views when it comes to such issues spell trouble for this province. This latest proposal is also symptomatic of a leader void of any legislative savvy.

“Anyone with an iota of constitutional understanding would realise that the proposal is unconstitutional and would result in a litany of legal challenges,” Rodgers said.

He said the DA was the first to acknowledge the disparities of the past and the need for redress through broad-based black empowerment.

The Sunday Times reported yesterday that Zikalala had sent the proposal for the changes to BEE policy to the National Treasury in August. It is reportedly seen as a possible template for sweeping change to effect the objectives of “radical economic transformation”.

IFP leader Blessed Gwala said Zikalala was confused.

“What he is doing now is to try to work against the constitution itself. We should view it as a reality that black people were disadvantaged during apartheid, but trying to categorise South Africans is taking us back to the old order.

“All these targeted people, especially Indians, contributed to the country’s economy. Zikalala’s attempt would present constitutional issues and would damage our hard-earned democracy. Indians, coloureds and Chinese citizens who have been here before 1994 are defined as black by the BEE legislation,” Gwala said.

It is reported that the provincial ANC would advance this view on BEE at the party’s national elective conference in December. ANC provincial spokesperson Mdumiseni Ntuli said there was nothing “untoward” in advancing radical economic transformation.

“There was an understanding that black people of African origin bore the brunt of colonialism and apartheid.

“Initially we said we need economic emancipation for black people in general, and now that we have gone through that phase we are saying black Africans in particular. Those who feel we are targeting Indian people are wrong,” Ntuli said.

Daily News


LINK - https://www.iol.co.za/dailynews/zikalalas-bee-proposal-angers-opposition-11588861

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