According to a statement issued by the presidency, a Tribute Dinner was held in honour of black business pioneers who thrived during the era of Apartheid.
President Zuma in addressing the attendees highlighted that Black business people faced restrictive laws that deliberately blocked black business in the urban areas limiting them only to townships, giving rise to the corner shops. He further indicated that Black businesses could not operate under one umbrella as it divided Black South Africans according to their ethnic groups, classifying those residing in homelands as non-South Africans. Despite the challenges many black entrepreneurs worked hard and became household names and inspired many, naming Mr Richard Maponya amongst them.
However, the struggle to de-racialise the ownership and control of the economy and ensure the meaningful participation of the black majority continues.
The shared task is to fast-track economic transformation so that black business can be part of the mainstream, and not be regarded as an alternative sector of the economy. The government continues to implement its policies aimed at the radical transformation of the economic landscape, including changing the patterns of ownership of the economy. The successful implementation requires both the public and the private sectors to institutionalize and implement it with utmost vigour. It was reiterated that government will continue to use its procurement muscle to advance BEE.
In closing the president took note that in today’s times Black entrepreneurs are succeeding in various sectors of the economy. He saluted such entrepreneurs and stated that they can do it better, with Government’s support.