Strong partnerships key to economic transformation

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Government has lobbied South Africans at large, particularly the private sector, to become more involved in efforts to propel South Africa’s development goals and to realise the vision of radical economic transformation.

“Radical economic transformation requires broader buy-in from all sectors of South African society, who accept democracy and detest apartheid evils. People who love democracy and equality will happily embrace the concept of radical economic transformation as a fair tool to eradicate economical racial inequalities originating from colonial apartheid,” said Public Works Minister Nathi Nhleko.

The Minister was speaking at the 10th year Commemoration Gala Dinner of the Black Business Council in the Built Environment (BBCBE) in Benoni, Gauteng, on Wednesday night.

He said it cannot be left to government alone to improve people’s lives as this is a shared responsibility, which requires the assistance of formations such as the BBCBE.

“It is in the interest of everyone to grow the economy that will see South Africa escaping the trap of poverty, inequality and unemployment. Government, through departments such as Public Works and others, has provided legislation that opens a big corridor for cooperation.”

Voluntary Rebuilding Programme

Minister Nhleko used the platform to highlight the work done under the Voluntary Rebuilding Programme (VRP).

The VRP sets company-level targets for transformation, either through the sale of a minimum of 40% of shares to black South Africans or through partnerships with smaller black-owned construction companies, to help increase their turnover to 25% of the listed company turnover, over a seven-year period.

Minister Nhleko challenged the BBCBE to come up with implementation ideas and methods, including programmes that will encourage industrialisation and empower youth as well as women.

“Government needs partners who understand it is in the implementation phase. Our hope is that the plumbers, bricklayers, carpenters, construction and other black potential employment seekers in the street corners of our towns will be absorbed and trained to be professional builders and contractors to provide support in massive infrastructure rollout,” said the Minister.

The President of the Black Business Council (BBC), Dr Danisa Baloyi, said that government has sounded the bell on radical economic transformation.

“What remains for us is to take the lead, grab, opportunities and fight for our rightful place in this economy. Our resolve is unwavering, unapologetic and undeterred by the noise in our country to distract us,” said Baloyi, pledging the BBC’s commitment to work with government.

She called on the financial services sector to be inclusive in supporting black business.

“The future growth of our economy depends on participation of black business,” Baloyi said. – SAnews.gov.za

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