Govt must improve BBBE implementation, says Zuma

Friday, July 24, 2009
By: 
Chris Bathembu

Johannesburg - Government needs to improve the implementation of Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (BBBEE) in South Africa's business sector, says President Jacob Zuma.

Addressing members of the Confederation of Black Business Organisations (CBBO) on Thursday night, President Zuma said that while government remained positive of the current BBBEE policy, much needed to be done to ensure proper implementation.

"Our view is that we have a good BBBEE policy. The current BBBEE framework is adequate. We may just need to sharpen the implementation and communication," President Zuma, told the more than 300 business leaders gathered at the meeting.

Last night's gathering was a follow up session to a meeting held last year between President Zuma and the CBBO. At the time, discussions centred on how government planned to review the way in which Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) was being put into effect.

He was accompanied by Gauteng Premier Nomvula Mokonyane, who also assured the CBBO of government's commitment to BEE.

President Zuma said the Department of Trade and Industry was attending to the process of speeding up the proper implementation of the policy.

However, he raised concern at cooperatives, especially in rural areas, who still found it hard to access their rights to benefits provided by the BBBEE.

Government is of the view that the BBBEE framework should reinforce skills and rural development, enterprise and social development while it must also attend to issues of job creation through procurement and entrepreneurship.

"Access to government procurement opportunities by black firms has been raised as serious challenge," the President said.

Mr Zuma said government planned to hold a national summit on BBBEE in May 2010 to address challenges and gaps in the policy.