BBC must show its mettle after 90 days

2012-03-03 09:06

When the Black Business ­Council (BBC) emerges from a 90-day retreat, the council needs to table short and crisp strategies that will eventually result in wealth creation for black people.

Says Brett Cousins, the managing director of business school Regenesys: “My biggest gripe with such planning sessions is that they end up being talk shops that do not yield any results.

“After the retreat, the BBC should come up with a short five-point plan that will not confuse ­people,” he said.

He said the BBC should ­prioritise the integration of all sectors since breaking away fractures the ­economy.
Cousins’ comment comes ­after the BBC announced at its launch on Thursday that it would go into retreat to formulate operational ­strategies.

Sandile Zungu, the BBC’s ­secretary-general, told City Press that the council was not prepared to enter into further discussions with Business Unity South Africa (Busa) unless the organisation was prepared to deal with the thorny issue of transformation.

Cousins discourages black business from totally cutting ties with Busa.

“I don’t think the BBC should break away from Busa because we need to work together as a country on the main goal of ­creating jobs.”

“BBC should also answer the question about who its allies will be, as the country cannot afford to have one group of people ­creating wealth only for themselves,” he said.

“The goals of the BBC strategy should be measured on being sustainable, time bound and measurable, or else it will fail,” said Cousins.

Thabo Masombuka, an executive director of transformation services at Siyakha Consulting, said the economy should embrace and welcome the eventual launch of the BBC.

“The BBC is a strategic ­vehicle to accelerate the economic interests of black ­business and constituencies in ­various sectors of the economy,” said Masombuka.

“The BBC must unapologetically be at the forefront of ­ensuring that enterprises and industries owned by black people emerge in all parts of the country,” he said.

He advises the BBC to focus on empowering a new crop of black leaders.

“The BBC should also be wary of running the risk of preserving and/or recycling the same faces and beneficiaries that have been the product of the past 15 years,” Masombuka said.

The managing director of Black Lite Consulting, Ajay ­Lalu, says disengaging from ­Busa should be the least of the BBC’s worries.

“I don’t think that having good relations with Busa should be black business’s major concern,” said Lalu.

“There are greater issues that the council has to deal with, like dealing with the BEE Amendment Bill that goes to Parliament in May and the reviewing of the BEE codes.”

In addition, said Lalu, the council needs to turn its attention to the renewable energy space that completely lacks transformation, so it can build resources and capacity.

The BBC also needs to comment on issues of national interest, such as the toll roads or ­the impact rating agencies have on our economy.

“Busa needs to transform its attitude towards black business. Transformation doesn’t only come by appointing black officials into senior management positions,” said Lalu.

He says cutting ties with Busa did not mean the council was ­being aggressive towards the ­organisation.

“The BBC should have a voice of its own that should be heard and taken seriously. We all, both black and white, desire to have a unified voice of business.”

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