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Mpho Sibanyoni | 10 February 2023

President Cyril Ramaphosa. File photo


The Black Business Council (BBC) has come out in support of President Cyril Ramaphosa's declaration of a state of disaster on the energy crisis.

However, the council said it is sharply opposed to Ramaphosa's plan to appoint an electricity minister.

"The BBC welcomes the declaration of a National State of Disaster on the Energy crises and will await more details on the matter. However, the BBC is not convinced that an appointment of a Minister of Electricity in the Presidency will contribute anything positive to the ending of loadshedding as this will just add another layer of bureaucracy on an already complicated situation," read the council's statement.

The BBC's support of the state of disaster on the energy crisis comes after SowetanLIVE's sister publication Business Day reported that Business Unity SA and Business Leadership SA had raised concerns about the declaration.

BBC added that it was concerned about Ramaphosa's failure to mention the broad-based black economic empowerment in his State Of the Nation Address (SONA), signals that "black person you are on your own".

"The BBC is disappointed by the omission of the importance of the B-BBEE, especially as the B-BBEE Act is turning 20 years this year. This is a clear indication that government does not take economic transformation seriously. The BBC views this as “black man/woman, you are on your own," said the council.

The BBC added that it was skeptical that some of Ramaphosa's Sona promises might be fulfilled. The council, however, said it would only be convinced about the announcements once they are successfully implemented.

Ramaphosa in his speech undertook to deal with the electricity crisis, as well as tackling rail and ports challenges.

"As we said before, time for too much talk and announcements about intentions is over. It is time for decisive action and implementation. In our considered view, the SONA has missed a call for action as the economy and job creation can not be left to hope," said the council.

Ramaphosa said government will finalise the draft Public Procurement Bill to address weaknesses identified by the State Capture Commission and improve efficiency, value for money and transparency.

"Our reinvigorated law enforcement agencies are taking firm action against companies and individuals alleged to have been involved in state capture," he said.

The BBC said government needed to strengthen the empowerment policy.

"The BBC notes the planned finalisation of the Bill and the efforts anticipated to empower women-owned enterprises and would like to emphasise that until and unless the 40% set aside for women and any other marginalised group is entrenched in the PPB, these intensions will remain a pipedream.

"The BBC welcomes the announcement of the measures to deal with corruption and crime but once again, will only be convinced when those measures are implemented," it said.

"The lack of sufficient funding for black and small businesses hampers the growth of the economy and job-creation and the BBC is displeased that this matter continues unattended."

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


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