BIG DREAMS: The Chris Hani branch of the Black Management Forum (BMF) had a general meeting to table plans to participate in the local economy and organise managerial training for members, with, from left, secretary Benedict Jordaan and chairman Mabhuti Mpafa Picture: ZOLILE MENZELWA

INFRASTRUCTURE projects awarded to companies from outside the district and a lack of managerial skills were some of the issues the Black Management Forum (BMF) was trying to address through programmes, in partnership with institutions of higher learning.

This was revealed by BMF branch chairman, Mabhuti Mpafa during a meeting at the Chris Hani District Municipality council chambers last week.

He said the forum was working with USA-based Harvard University and Wits Business School and was concerned with the rate at which transformation was implemented in the private sector.

“It is our wish that the black managers in the corporate world will implement the transformation policies and treat transformation as a business imperative. We are planning a workshop with the BEE commission so we know whether we should support the revised BEE policy,” he said.

He said the BMF was happy with a clause that addressed unlocking economic opportunities, but needed to understand it.

The law, Mpafa said, stated that big companies had to spend a certain percentage of their money on small, medium and macro enterprises (SMMEs) in their area.

“We don’t know if that happens. These companies must give support to the SMMEs. That is why we need radical economic transformation, but it will require access to capital.”

BMF secretary and local attorney Benedict Jordaan said there were two economies in the district in which members of the BMF could participate, township revitalisation and rural economies.

He said the BMF’s strategic review 2016-19 had training programmes for members and encouraged them to submit other training they would like to attend.

“We must engage in a strategic technical blackmail. We need to organise a silent march against the imbalance of how businesses benefit in town. The black business must benefit and the community must know what is happening,” he said.

Bathandwa Ngxangana said broad based black economic empowerment was important.

“We have The Rep dominating, but why don’t we have a black-owned media house so that the black person can have a voice? We are now told stories from a white perspective,” he said.

Zama Zulu of Eastern Cape Tissue applauded the managerial skills development plan.

However he wanted to know if there was a data base of the suppliers who were members of BMF. He also wanted to know if big business had been approached to ascertain if they were complying with related legislation.

Mpafa said the current leadership had been in office for six months but had a vision for which they would seek support from the membership.

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