It’s crunch time for Nafcoc’s president

2011-09-17 13:32

The National African Federated Chamber of Commerce (Nafcoc) has demanded that incumbent president Lawrence Mavundla tackle the organisation’s floundering reputation.

Mavundla was summoned to a meeting attended by 30 Nafcoc stalwarts – including Nafcoc founders Dr Sam Motsuenyane and Mavundla’s predecessor, Buhle Mthethwa – at the Garden Court hotel near Joburg’s OR Tambo International Airport.

The meeting, held on September 7, resolved to unify the black business organisation, which has been plagued by internal squabbles for most of the past decade.

Mavundla has declined to comment, saying: “We are under embargo not to talk about the meeting because the principals of the meeting are still discussing and refining the resolutions.”

A committee comprising three people – Mthethwa, Ella Modise and former Western Cape leader Themba Phasiwe – has been selected to work with Motsuenyane towards unifying the federation.

Motsuenyane said: “In the following weeks, I plan to co-opt other people into the task team. However, I can’t tell how many people will agree to serve. My aim is to co-opt as few people as possible because this will have cost implications. The more people we get, the more money we will have to pay.”

He declined to comment on the resolutions, saying: “The resolutions are an unfinished business. We will announce them when we have
made them practicable.”

A Nafcoc leader who attended the meeting but who asked not to be named, said the stalwarts wanted details relating to “damning” media reports concerning Nafcoc and its holding company, Nafhold.

The leader said: “Nafhold chief executive Michael Leaf and chairperson Reverend Joe Hlongwane, and Mavundla delivered presentations on the state of the organisations. After that, the stalwarts asked questions and they were given answers.”

Motsuenyane confirmed the meeting and told City Press that Nafcoc took advantage of a clause in its 1993 Constitution that allowed for the formation of the Nafcoc senate.

The senate is a formation of the organisation’s veterans.

Motsuenyane said: “This clause has not been activated and we think it is time for the senate to be active.

“When necessary, we as stalwarts must guide the young leaders to run the organisation efficiently.”

He said the senate will advise the current crop of leaders on how to run Nafcoc peacefully.

According to him, the main aim of the gathering was to unify Nafcoc. “The meeting was very cordial and the main theme was how to achieve unity in the organisation as we believe it is in our best interest to unify the organisation nationally,” said Motsuenyane.

“Nafcoc should work towards regaining its serious strength and talk with one voice.”

Motsuenyane said the next step would be for Nafcoc to work towards eliminating parallel structures.

“These parallel structures should cease to exist because there’s no need for them. Nafcoc will only be strong if it has one aim and name.

“I have been with the organisation since its establishment 30 years ago and we cannot afford to allow fragmentation,” he said.

According to Motsuenyane, Nafcoc was the organisation that influenced black economic empowerment legislation. But infighting had caused the chamber to remain silent on issues that are crucial to the development of black business.

“We must begin talking to each other, find a way of unifying the organisation, identify the causes of the splintering and address them honestly,” said Motsuenyane.

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