Nafcoc squabbles at expense of small business

2011-04-30 13:20

Members of the National African Federated Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Nafcoc) are unhappy about the infighting crippling the organisation.

Former Nafcoc Limpopo president Tim Tebeila this week slammed the current leadership for failing to curb infighting.

“The internal squabbles are causing Nafcoc to lose the plot and not focus on its core mandate of empowering small black businesses,” said Tebeila, a coal- mining millionaire. “Why fight for small monies when you can unite the organisation and uplift small businesses?”

His comments were echoed by former Nafcoc president Sam Motsuenyane, who said the small business organisation must overcome its challenges instead of being weakened by internal disputes.

He said: “Nafcoc should resolve these small issues and start addressing challenges facing small businesses.”

Nafcoc KwaZulu-Natal member Martha Kweyama, who is involved in the farming sector, said the internal strife was hampering the organisation’s growth. “Our businesses are struggling because there is no ­organisation helping black entrepreneurs to ­develop.”

Their comments come after Nafcoc, under the leadership of Lawrence ­Mavundla, unsuccessfully applied two weeks ago for an urgent court interdict to ban Nafhold chief executive Michael Leaf and chairman Johannes Hlongwane, Nafcoc’s former Free State secretary-general Dan Mbuli and provincial chairman Mhlophegi Mloja, from holding a meeting that discussed dividends from Tsogo Investment Holdings, the gaming and casino group.

Nafhold is an investment arm of ­Nafcoc. The interdict also listed Pinkie Mkhize, former chairperson of KwaZulu-Natal Nafcoc, and former Gauteng chairman Vusi Nhlapho as respondents.

Mkhize and Nhlapho also attended the meeting, which took place at the Sandton Holiday Inn where Nafcoc members from Northern Cape, North West, Mpumalanga and Limpopo were also present.

At the meeting, attendants undertook to find ways to prevent Nafcoc leadership from taking over the provincial trusts that received dividends from Tsogo.

Three different sources informed City Press that Tsogo released R1.1?million worth of dividends to each of Nafcoc’s 16 structures on April 15.

Tebeila said there would be no squabbles over money if many of the Nafcoc leaders ran successful businesses which kept them busy.

He said: “If you can go to Nafcoc House (No?1 Summer Street in Rivonia, Johannesburg) during weekdays, you will find the majority of the leaders loitering.

“People should focus on their businesses. They must not make Nafcoc their employment agency and they should not expect handouts from Nafcoc.”

Nafcoc spokesperson Vukile Mathabela said it was inaccurate that the majority of Nafcoc leaders didn’t own businesses.

“Members of the leadership are also leaders of the organisation’s business sectors and provincial structures. They got these positions because they run ­businesses,” he said.

Mathabela also confirmed that Leaf, Hlongwane, Mbuli, Mloja and Mkhize had been expelled from the federation. “We applied for the urgent court interdict after finding out that people listed as respondents on the court papers are organising a meeting using the name of Nafcoc.”

He added that Nafcoc lost their urgent court interdict because the meeting they wanted to indict had already started.

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