JOHANNESBURG - Business Leadership South Africa (BLSA) has dismissed reports that it is in talks about a merger with the Black Business Council (BBC). 

BLSA is an independent association whose members include the leaders of some of South Africa’s biggest and most well-known organisations, and aims to create dialogue with the government and other stakeholders.

The City Press newspaper reported at the weekend that a merger between BLSA and BCC had been delayed. The paper said the possible merger seemed to have been suggested by President Cyril Ramaphosa to leaders of both organisations during a private meeting in Davos earlier this year.

BLSA spokesman Thebe Mabanga dismissed the merger reports, saying that while BLSA was indeed in talks with the BBC, these were aimed at seeing the BBC return to an apex body of business.

"The architecture and modalities of such a return have yet to be agreed. Business Unity South Africa (Busa) is currently the apex body of business in South Africa," Mabanga said.

"There are no talks or plans for a merger between BBC and BLSA."

The BBC fell out with Busa in 2017 at the National Economic Development and Labour Council (Nedlac) after 23 years under the umbrella body, and the relationship between the two organisations has long been strained. 

 - African News Agency