Cape Town - The annual pre-SONA lunch held ahead of the State of the Nation address at The Mount Nelson Hotel was hosted by Dr Iqbal Survé, Chairman of the Sekajalo Group.
Guests included diplomats, ambassadors, business leaders, cabinet ministers, senior government officials, civil society organisations and executives of Sekunjalo affiliated companies.
Master of ceremonies Lance Witten welcomed over 300 dignitaries to the event.
Guest of honour, Baleka Mbete, recognised and thanked the hosts, Sekunjalo and acknowledged the narrative of Dr Survé and the other speakers on their perspective of Dr Survé and his companies.
With regards to the press, Mbete commented that we need to be alert and not believe everything that we read, as we begin to believe it even if it is not necessarily the truth.
Touching on other issues Mbete mentioned that as it is an election year this SONA will be toned down in order to keep costs down. There will however be another SONA at the end of June after elections to coincide with the president finishing his first term.
After 25 years in power, Mbete believes that it is a time for reflection. One of the issues that she highlighted is the space issue in Parliament - which was built in the early 1900’s - for a different time and reality and catering for a much smaller number of people. Currently, there is not enough space to operate efficiently. There is a need for a new Parliament to serve a liberated South Africa where there is enough space for everyone to b able to perform their duties.
Mbete touched on the review of the land act - Section 25, land expropriation without compensation, but legally and under certain circumstances. If the land is restored people will regain their dignity. She believes that the daily living conditions of people will improve only when the land issue is addressed, however, those receiving the land need to be upskilled for productivity on the land.
She welcomed the State Capture Commission and supports whatever steps need to be taken in order to move forward. Parliament needs an audit to see what mechanisms can be put in place in the organisation to assist politicians to resist temptation. This project will be continued into the 6th term.
On a personal note, Mbete thanked Dr Survé for hosting the pre-SONA lunch over the years and said she supported his values, and believes that South Africa has a bright future.
She remains confident that the sun will not set on such a glorious nation and that Parliament will continue to uphold democratic values.
Judge Advocate Dr Wallace Mgoqi, founding chairman of Sekunjalo told the audience how Sekunjalo had come from humble beginnings when President Mandela asked individuals and entrepreneurs to establish companies in order to boost black business in SA.
Listed 20 years ago, with an ethos of broad-based empowerment, which includes women, the company remains true to its core values with philanthropy playing a large part of their business and profits being invested in charitable causes.
Dr Survé reflected on his journey and reaffirmed that non-racialism is the foundation on which he builds his business, taking into account the inequalities of the past.
Sekunjalo is the largest BEE group in SA, focusing on intellectual talents and technology.
The theme of the Sekunjalo SONA lunch this year was African technology advancement. By 2030 Africa will have the youngest generation in the world that will not be able to compete in manufacturing industries. 60% of Africans are under the age of 30 and are eager and willing to learn in order to improve their future.
Sello Rasethaba from the Black Business Chamber spoke about transformation, creating new businesses to grow the South African economy. As a director of AYO Technology, his personal mission is to create jobs in order to liberate society. Rasethaba praised the constitution of the country with its strong labour movement and free press.
He compared the attacks on AYO - the only Black-based technology company listed on the JSE and Independent Media with the Tea Party movement in the USA, a conservative faction of the Republican Party in the USA.