The Black Business Council - At the forefront of economic transformation
BBQ ONLIINE / 03 MAY 2019 - 16.11 / STAFF REPORTER
There was a need for a platform that is dedicated to facilitating an over-arching confederation that represents black professional business associations and chambers. This led to the establishment of the Black Business Council (BBC) whose core objective is to lobby the government on policy-related matters, playing an immediate role in advocating an acceleration of black business participation in the economy, where policies are in place. Aiding in creating black industrialists, its mandate is driven by 11 portfolio committees. Their main responsibility is driving policy-related matters through advocating government legislation, policy stakeholder engagements and programmes.
Those committees help make provisions for black businesses to access opportunities in the mainstream economies. The structure of the BBC leadership comprises of a President, two Vice Presidents (professionals and organised business), a Secretary-General, Treasurer-General and a Head of Policy. This team is highly competent as well as experienced, as it is made up of professional businesspeople who boast expertise in different sectors of the economy.
BBC membership is open to both black and white associations, professional associations, corporates, chambers of commerce and state-owned companies that subscribe to the ethos of economic transformation. BBC offers the following corporate packages for membership: the diamond package, the platinum package and the gold package.
Like any organisation with packages, BBC has its exclusively customised benefits but those benefits are not limited to the following: invitations to participate in the Presidential Government, business working groups and access to their regional and global network of partner organisations, for example, South Africa-Russia Business Council, South Africa. In addition, the India CEO Forum, World Economic Forum, British, Russia, India, China and South Africa Business Council, European Union and United Nations Development Programme are some of the organisations one can get access to.
The packages also offer assistance and advice on the implementation of Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment policies, access to enterprises in order to deliver on supplier development and enterprise development strategy. Moreover, participation in National Economic Development Labour Advisory Council chambers, committees and task teams involved at the coalface of the legislative process in South Africa (a unique feature offered by the BBC) is offered. Members are also given an opportunity to offer submissions relating to new bills and the formulation of policy, this is done through parliamentary committees.
The BBC recently hosted the Black Business Summit and Gala Dinner, which was held on 28 February. In his speech, the BBC President, Sandile Zungu, mentioned that they were able to run the summit and gala dinner on a huge surplus, all thanks to the support of corporates, both black and white, and the commitment that was shown by political parties. The key topic at the summit was discussing economic transformation within the context of the Fourth Industrial Revolution and how this could be a catalyst for inclusive growth in the South African economy.
The highlight of this event was the keynote address by President Cyril Ramaphosa, who spoke about the importance of business in the economy and the strides in transformation. Other key topics discussed included: the reflection on Finance Minister Tito Mboweni’s address, the regulatory impact of driving business growth, particularly focusing on whether or not regulations enhance or stymie business growth, and how they can lower barriers to entry for enhanced inclusivity. State procurement was also on the agenda, focusing on how the state is an active player in developing economic transformation and the ethical impact of corruption on the economy, especially the way it robs black business growth.
More key topics of discussion included: a look at the Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment Commission, the efficiency of policy instruments and the Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment legislation, reflecting on whether it is achieving its desired goals or failing to do so, as well as the impact of competition legislation on socio-economic transformation and the political economy with regards to how political parties view transformation and their perspective on how the economy can be transformed. Another major topic was South Africa’s readiness for Industry 4.0 and how they can position black business for the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
Overall, the Black Business Summit was a huge success and they managed to conduct thought-provoking interactions that built a solid foundation for future collaborations between the BBC, the government, labour and key stakeholders on relevant economic issues
Disclaimer - The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the BEE CHAMBER