Business Unity South Africa president Sipho Pityana and Black Business Council President Sandile Zungu. Picture: African News Agency(ANA)

Johannesburg- Prominent South African black businessmen Sandile Zungu and Sipho Pityana on Wednesday decided to smoke the peace pipe and bury the hatchet following two face-to-face meetings after widely publicised differences between them.

Zungu and Pityana are the presidents of the Black Business Council (BBC) and Business Unity South Africa (Busa, respectively.

On the eve of the Black Business Summit last month, Pityana wrote a scathing open letter to Zungu accusing him of having been complicit in State capture. But Zungu did not take the criticism lying down, replying almost immediately and saying that Pityana was divisive and toxic.

In a joint statement on Wednesday, Zungu and Pityana said they have agreed to convene an eight aside leaders meeting on Thursday which they will co-chair.

They said this meeting will, among others, analyse the difficult economic situation the country is facing and discuss the challenges facing business that require a collaborative response by organised business.

"A single-minded effort will be made towards a unified voice of business in South Africa to continue championing the interests of business and to better partner other social partners (government, labour and civil society) in tackling the challenges of disappointingly low levels of economic growth, stubbornly high levels of unemployment that then lead to increasing levels of poverty and increasing levels of inequality," the statement read.

"We would also address the impact of state capture and rampant corruption and explore ways in which we can promote ethical leadership, sustainable as well as inclusive socio-economic growth and transformation. The BBC and BUSA will focus on finding solutions."

African News Agency/ANA