Zulu urges black business to ‘do things differently’

2016-07-11 11:58
Minister of Small-Medium Enterprises Lindiwe Zulu addressing the annual business network conference at the Royal Showgrounds on Saturday.

Minister of Small-Medium Enterprises Lindiwe Zulu addressing the annual business network conference at the Royal Showgrounds on Saturday. (Thabang Mathebula, The Witness)

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Pietermaritzburg - Black people need to workout things differently in order to build their stake in the economy.

This was according to Minister of Small-Medium Enterprises Lindiwe Zulu, who spoke at a TrueVine Business Network conference in Pietermaritzburg on Saturday.

She said many small businesses were not sufficiently equipped and had insufficient resources or experience to do work for the government.

But she urged black-owned companies to persevere.

“Did you know that government spends R1 billion a day on infrastructure?

“We are talking about road maintenance, schools and clinics infrastructure. And the number of black businesses benefiting from it is like a drop in the ocean,” she said.

“But we need to think differently and do things differently to take control of the economy,” she added.

“You need to study and have knowledge about the economy. For those who have it now, have worked hard for it,” she said.

Zulu also spoke highly of Durban businessman and iconic black economic empowerment leader Don Mkhwanazi, who died recently.

Zulu said black business people should try and emulate Mkhwanazi’s example of empowering emerging business owners.

She said if black people continue to resist changing their mindset, they will have the same regrets in the next 23 years.

After 1994, while the democratic government was focused on building governance and security in the country, the other “part” was accumulating wealth from the economy, she said.

“Now I say to you, don’t have the same regrets in the next 23 years. Let us explore ways to grow the economy and own it. You should prove that you are capable,” she said.

“If we don’t change, we are going to be resentful. Let us find the system and mechanism that works.”

Zulu also attacked the media for biased reporting.

“We are not telling you what you must not publish or show. We see all the front pages with stories of what black people do wrong, the violence and vandalised schools in Vuwani.

“But recently we saw a story of Reeva [Steenkamp], where there was a court order that was lifted to allow photographs of her death to be published, but some of the media did not publish them, stating that they were too graphic.

“But a Mozambican man who was stabbed terribly and killed, his pictures were published. Were they also not too graphic?” she asked.

• thabang.mathebula@witness.co.za

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  business
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