Resolve black business grievances, says new council

2011-09-21 13:23

Black business will be a part of Business Unity SA (Busa) only if its grievances are resolved, the newly formed Black Business Council (BBC) said today.

“The future of Busa and the future participation of black business in Busa is dependent on the degree to which legitimate grievances and complaints are addressed,” said BBC steering committee chairman Patrice Motsepe.

Earlier this month, a black business summit decided to resurrect the BBC to unify black business. Busa itself was formed in 2003 through a merger between the then BBC and Business SA.

The summit was convened after the Black Management Forum withdrew from Busa in July. It said Busa’s structure was fundamentally flawed, with the voice of black business “permanently outnumbered and suppressed”.

The BBC has suspended its participation in Busa, but spokesperson Sandile Zungu said it had not withdrawn completely and wanted to negotiate with Busa.

The BBC also planned to meet the government and various labour, women’s and youth organisations, as well as other interested parties, to discuss issues such as job creation, poverty alleviation and black economic empowerment policies.

Billionaire Motsepe said it was a mistake to disband the BBC when Busa was formed.

“I was convinced we had structured Busa so that the blacks were in control. It was going to be our Busa, with a non-negotiable agenda to bring blacks to the centre,” he said.
“We failed to understand that black business has not got resources.”

He said the BBC was not formed as an entity to fight Busa. It was “to bring together the complaints and frustrations of blacks so that within Busa they can become ... a successful voice and make sure problems unique to black business and professionals are addressed in a meaningful sense,” Motsepe said.

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