President Cyril Ramaphosa addressing a meeting with the Black Business Council at the Union Buildings in Pretoria. PHOTO: Jonisayi Maromo/ANA

PRETORIA - President Cyril Ramaphosa met the Black Business Council (BBC) at the Union Buildings in Pretoria on Thursday, as part of government’s effort towards achieving inclusive and sustainable economic growth with job creation and poverty alleviation

“As representatives of black business, you have a central role to play in the national effort to change the structure of our economy to ensure that it is representative, inclusive and benefits all our people. Your experiences at the rock face of business transformation must serve as a guide as we seek to build on our achievements and address our shortcomings,” Ramaphosa addressed the BBC, a leading organisation representing black professionals and business associations and chambers. 

“Your insights are particularly important as we work to strengthen the implementation of our broad-based black economic empowerment policies, ensuring that they achieve far-reaching and sustainable empowerment. To fulfil its purpose, it is essential that broad-based BEE contributes to inclusive economic growth and job creation.”

Ramaphosa said the “slow pace of transformation in the workplace, particularly in the private sector” in South Africa was a cause for concern.

“This necessitates some serious introspection by business and clear strategies to promote employment equity. We know that black businesses who do work for the State have a myriad of challenges, especially around payment for services. Despite the introduction of a 30-day payment stipulation, we know that it is not being uniformly adhered to, and we are therefore working hard to fix the problems in this regard,” he said.

President Cyril Ramaphosa addressing a meeting with the Black Business Council at the Union Buildings in Pretoria. PHOTO: Jonisayi Maromo/ANA

On energy sufficiency, amidst power supply uncertainties from the national power utility Eskom, Ramaphosa emphasised that energy security is critical if local industries are to flourish. He said the recent appointment of André de Ruyter as new Eskom CEO which sparked a furious race debate on transformation of State-owned enterprises - was a step in the right direction.

“The Eskom board, working with government, continues to pursue a turnaround plan to address its huge debt, its liquidity problems and its operational challenges. The appointment of a new permanent Group Chief Executive at Eskom is an important step towards restoring stability and forging a sustainable path at this strategic entity,” said Ramaphosa.

The Presidency said Ramaphosa’a meeting with the Black Business Council would discuss, among other issues, policy implementation and monitoring; the Black Business Council’s contribution to improving the capacity of the state; industrialisation and; infrastructure development; progress in digital migration to enable the release and usability of spectrum, and the expansion of the economy and job creation. 

- African News Agency (ANA)