Category Economy
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Black business leaders express disappointment at government’s lack of commitment towards economic transformation

17 February 2014 Nonkululeko Gobodo, SizweNtsalubaGobodo

Following last night’s State of the Nation Address, Nonkululeko Gobodo, Chairperson of SizweNtsalubaGobodo, Southern Africa's fifth largest accounting firm, expressed disappointment that Black Economic Empowerment did not feature on his agenda despite being a key driver of economic transformation.

"It was both surprising and concerning that the President made no mention Black Economic Empowerment when we have in fact achieved great strides in promoting the creation of local black entrepreneurs. It is this entrepreneurial spirit that is a key driver of economic growth and job creation,” she says.

Gobodo believes that this omission is a clear indication that economic transformation is not a key strategic driver of both the ANC and the current administration. "Economic Transformation featured strongly in the ANC’s 2009 Manifesto and even included phrases such as ‘His Presidency will focus on driving real economic transformation’. Having never been a priority before, this gave us much hope with regard to the future growth of black business.

"It is therefore disappointing that this was not addressed five years into his presidential term. Unfortunately it seems that government contradict themselves on matters relating to economic transformation. They are clearly not wholly behind cultivating an entrepreneurial spirit which is essentially our only real chance of creating jobs,” she comments.

For Gobodo it is short sighted as a country not to focus on getting 80 percent of the population to be at the forefront of equitable economic participation through creating real jobs. "The overall implementation of BBBEE has been a mixed bag of successes and setbacks. And here it must be acknowledged that the real successes we have seen are due to committed champions of Economic Transformation rather than a real strategic focus from the ANC administration.

Gobodo emphasises that SizweNtsalubaGobodo as a firm would like to see economic empowerment as priority on government’s agenda. "I would like to see government reflect how many genuine entrepreneurs it has produced over the past 20-years. Rather than paying lip service when it comes to economic transformation, government need to step up and drive it. Through it not being addressed it is clear government have put a key priority area on the back-burner and unfortunately our citizens will pay the price through slow economic growth and inadequate job creation,” she concludes.

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