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Kgothatso Madisa | 13 November 2022

POLICY AND POWER President Cyril Ramaphosa during the ANC national executive committee (NEC) meeting in Nasrec, Johannesburg. Image: ANTONIO MUCHAVE

The ANC national executive committee (NEC) has reaffirmed its support for broad-based black economic empowerment, as party president Cyril Ramaphosa says many South Africans have yet to reap its benefits.

Ramaphosa closed the NEC meeting with remarks that the new preferential procurement regulations published by National Treasury last week, in response to the Constitutional Court ruling on preferential procurement in the public sector, would not deter the ANC’s mission to de-racialise the economy using policies such as B-BBEE.

“These regulations now comply with section 217 of the constitution in that they empower organs of state to develop and implement preferential procurement policies when contracting for goods and services. Contrary to some statements made in the public arena, these new regulations do not diminish our commitment to preferential procurement as a mechanism for economic transformation,” Ramaphosa said.

He said BEE remains one of the ANC’s key policies.

“The NEC has affirmed the ANC’s position that broad-based black economic empowerment remains one of our key policy instruments. Through the NEC economic transformation committee, we will monitor progress in the implementation of this policy and engage with stakeholders especially black business and black professionals,” said Ramaphosa.

Finance minister Enoch Godongwana this month gazetted the new Preferential Procurement Regulations, expected to take effect in January 2023. Experts seek to relax the requirements for parastatals to procure equipment from local or black suppliers.

They said the new regulations say state entities will now procure goods and services on a competitive and cost-effective basis if the local or black suppliers are unable to compete on price and quality.

Ramaphosa said the ANC has to strengthen its affirmative action measures as more black people still had to benefit.

“The NEC remains clear the movement remains resolutely committed to the implementation of broad-based black economic empowerment. We’ve noted that while progress has been made in empowering black people and women in the economy, the benefits of this process have not been felt by all South Africans,” Ramaphosa said.

“This means we need to intensify BEE measures rather than relax them. We need to continue our work to refine and focus our efforts to ensure greater impact and faster realisation of the constitutional and economic imperatives of empowerment and redress.

And that is clearly set out in our constitution.”

Ramaphosa said as the term of the current NEC comes to an end, they will be able to report to the national conference next on some of the successes since its election in 2017.

The political and organisational reports that will be tabled at the conference must, however, be honest about the failures of this NEC, Ramaphosa said.

“Now our report will reflect that while this NEC has had to confront serious challenges, we can point to several achievements and progress in a number of areas. At the same time, we will need to acknowledge our shortcomings and our failings as the National Executive Committee,” he said.

“As we also point out some of the areas where we’ve been able to make progress, we must ensure our political and organisational reports are frank, critical and comprehensive so that we can empower delegates to develop a programme that takes our movement into a new phase of rebuilding.”

‘Disclaimer - The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the BEE CHAMBER’

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