The government must apply broad-based black economic empowerment (BBBEE) principles on business opportunities created by South Africa’s COVID-19 vaccine rollout.
This is according to Kganki Matabane, CEO of Black Business Council, which is part of the ANC-aligned Progressive Business Forum (PBF).
‘Value chain opportunities’
In an article published on PBF’s website this week, Matabane said there will be a “myriad of value-chain business opportunities” in the rollout.
These include supply chain, logistics and transportation; point of centre cares; vaccination administration; IT systems; legal and regulatory opportunities; and communications.
He urged the government to make sure “the big players” do not continue monopolising the opportunities. It should instead support “smaller and independent service providers.”
Matabane explained, “We are fully aware of and acknowledge that the country is facing a crisis of unprecedented proportions. We also note that the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa and other laws are not suspended during this period.
“As such, Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (BBBEE) remains law and in place and as such, should not be undermined in haste.
“We should not repeat the recent history by continuously side-lining businesses owned by blacks, youth, women and people with disabilities. If we do that, history will judge us harshly and our children will spit on our graves.
“Let us find political will and courage to do the right thing by effecting socio-economic transformation in our lifetime. The COVID-19 vaccination provides such opportunity.”
PBF webinar with ANC top 6
The ANC’s top 6 officials, led by President Cyril Ramaphosa, and PBF members held a webinar last month where they discussed how to enhance participation of black-owned businesses in the economy in 2021.
“We will see how best we can get black people to participate. This is the year that we should be able to do that and move the needle of economic empowerment for women, young people and black people broadly,” Ramaphosa said.
Speaking to Newzroom Afrika on Thursday, however, ANC Secretary-General Ace Magashule suggested that black businesses are being undermined under the current administration.
“Can’t you see the destruction of black business and African companies? Can’t you see that there is entrenchment of monopolies in South Africa today? Is it not too obvious that black people are being excluded in the mainstream economy? Can’t you see that black excellence is not being recognised?” Magashule asked.