The cost of business: Nicholas Maweni

2013-01-20 10:00

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Remarks attributed to President Jacob Zuma at the ANC’s anniversary gala in Durban last weekend have attracted scrutiny. He reportedly told business leaders that those who support the ruling party would ‘prosper’. Andile Ntingi spoke to five business leaders to get their opinions

» Nicholas Maweni ?Black Management Forum MD

My take on the relationship between business and political parties is that businesses should have relationships with political parties, especially those with policies they like.

For example, as the Black Management Forum, we will support any party that has pro-transformation policies and ideologies, and agendas similar to our own.

On the issue of donations, if one donates to a political party with the intention of benefiting from government, that’s corruption. However, there are a number of businesses that do not donate to the ANC, but win business from government.

There is a law in the US that prevents listed companies from donating to any political organisation, but US companies have subsidiaries in South Africa that continue to offer services and products to government successfully. Most US technology companies offer services to the South African government.

I think it is okay for a business to support a political party, especially if the interests of the business are aligned with the policies of that party.

But it is wrong for business to support a political party and expect to get returns for their support.

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