Ramaphosa appoints BEE council in big transformation push for South Africa

President Cyril Ramaphosa has appointed the country’s new Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (BBBEE) Advisory Council which will be responsible for guiding the government on the ‘intensified transformation’ of the economy.

Ramaphosa said a ‘diverse and representative group’ of 14 people with sector expertise were elected for the council, with the appointments set to last for a period of five years.

The list of members include

  1. Mr Kganki Matabane, Chief Executive Officer of the Black Business Council (BBC);
  2. Ms Gloria Serobe, a veteran of black business;
  3. Dr Nthabiseng Moleko, an academic and specialist on industrial development funding;
  4. Ms Sibongile Sambo, who operates a company in the aviation services sector;
  5. Mr Sibusiso Maphatiane, an industrialist who runs his own metal foundry business;
  6. Mr Ajay Lulu, a chartered accountant and B-BBEE specialist;
  7. Ms Louise Thipe, a senior leader in the labour movement;
  8. Ms Makale Ngwenya, a trade unionist and researcher;
  9. Mr Kashief Wicomb, who leads the Progressive Professionals Forum (PPF);
  10. Dr Lulu Gwagwa, an academic, spatial development planner and businessperson;
  11. Mr Thulani Tshefuta, who represents the community constituency and the youth movement at the National Economic Development and Labour Council (NEDLAC);
  12. Mr James Hodge, Chief Economist of the Competition Commission;
  13. Ms Khathu Lambani Makwela, a director of a company in the healthcare sector; and,
  14. Ms Irene Dimakatso Morati, an internal auditor.

“Provincial representation, sector expertise, gender and age are among the considerations that informed the composition of the council. In line with the legislation that applies to the council, members are drawn from businesses, trade unions, community-based organisations and academia. They also have broad expertise in major sectors of the economy,” the presidency said.

It noted that eight of the 14 candidates are female.

“President Ramaphosa thanks the new members of the Council for availing themselves to serve the country in this capacity and he wishes the Council the best in advancing black economic empowerment as part of the comprehensive transformation of the South African economy.”

In his weekly open letter to the public on Monday (30 May), Ramaphosa said the government would be intensifying its transformation efforts.

“While there has been significant progress over the last two decades, there are some areas where there has been regression. We have gone backwards when it comes to increasing black management control, upscaling skills development, entrenching enterprise development and broadening procurement to give opportunities to black women and the youth.”

The apartheid government deliberately built a distorted economy designed to benefit white people. The majority of South Africans were marginalised from the mainstream economy, with black entrepreneurs confined to small retail industries in the townships, the president said.

“It is clear that much more work needs to be done to address the many challenges that black businesses face. This includes the difficulty of accessing start-up and expansion capital and the ability of SMMEs to find markets for their products. Black women-owned businesses, in particular, encounter difficulties in taking on large-scale empowerment transactions.”

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