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Bantu Holomisa blasts Black Business Council for ‘silence’ on controversial SAA, Takatso deal

UDM leader Bantu Holomisa. Picture: Armand Hough/African News Agency (ANA)

UDM leader Bantu Holomisa. Picture: Armand Hough/African News Agency (ANA)

Published May 19, 2022


Pretoria - UDM leader Bantu Holomisa has blasted the Black Business Council (BBC) for their alleged “silence” on the pending sale of SAA to Takatso Consortium as the EFF warned the council about the privatisation of more state owned enterprises (SOEs).

Holomisa and EFF deputy president Floyd Shivambu were panellists at the BBC annual summit which kicked off at the Gallagher Convention Centre in Midrand on Thursday.

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The two-day annual summit is expected to end on Friday. Holomisa, Shivambu, the ANC’s Dr Gwen Ramokgopa, the DA’s deputy spokesperson on finance Ashor Sarupen and the IFP president Velenkosi Hlabisa were among the political heavyweights who were invited to address the two-day event.

While BBC members and leadership were expecting to hear the political and economic visions of these parties to turn around the economy, Holomisa turned against them.

In his address, the UDM leader questioned BBC leaders about their silence on the sale of SAA to Takatso for R51. The sale is spearheaded by the Department of Public Enterprises.

“Why was the BBC silent when the political parties spoke out about the sale of SAA? Why were you silent? Were you invited to make an input on the sale? Holomisa asked.

He also told the summit that the Takatso Consortium was fingered for malfeasance at the Zondo Commission related to access to Public Investment Corporation (PIC) funds.

The UDM leader spoke after former statistician general Dr Pali Lehohla - who delivered the main and opening address of the summit - expressed concern about President Cyril Ramaphosa’s alleged ignoring of black business in the growth of the South African economy.

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Addressing the summit, Lehohla insinuated that Ramaphosa and some of his ministers ignored calls by black businesses’ to drastically fight against unemployment and poverty.

“There was nothing in the State of the Nation Address (Sona) which dealt with the increasing number of unemployment in the country. Black Business made an input to the government to grow and improve the economy but that too was ignored,” Lehohla said.

Agreeing with Lehohla, Shivambu was quick to also support Holomisa on the alleged silence of BBC. These utterances came just a few days after EFF leader Julius Malema warned that his party had consulted with their lawyers to file an application to reverse the SAA’s sale.

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At the summit, Shivambu reiterated his party’s view that Denel and Eskom were next in line to be privatised.

Earlier, however, Ramakgopa, the co-ordinator in the ANC secretary general’s office, reacted to some of the criticism levelled against the government by Lehohla. She said some of the ills he pointed out were due to the effects of state capture and corruption in the past few years.

Ramokgopa was adamant that there was economic progress after the advent of democracy in South Africa. However, the progress soon dissipated during the era of state capture.

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She invited fellow political parties and business organisations to turn around the economy.

But Lehohla warned the ANC against “skewed economic policy” saying the party was speaking about developmental economy while marching in the opposite direction.

“Why is this government talking about the developmental economy but continues to sell state owned entities. Why was SAA working under the apartheid government but not working under the ANC government? What was wrong with Transnet?

“The apartheid government was a developmental state and it was regulated. What is wrong with the ANC? Lehohla asked.

Pretoria News