DTI failing transformation – BMF

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The Black Management Forum (BMF) this week lambasted the department of trade and industry (DTI) for failing to provide proper guidelines on Black Economic Empowerment (BEE).

The organisation’s executive committee, during a media roundtable session at its Rivonia offices, did not spare the department over what it called unimpressive compliance with transformation agenda.

“We feel the DTI is not doing enough,” BMF president Mncane Mthunzi said.

DTI spokesperson Sidwell Medupe laughed and referred the matter for comment to Lionel October, the director-general of the department, who in his response said the DTI’s own track record spoke for itself and mentioned various efforts to ensure compliance.

October further said the department would be releasing a list of all government beneficiaries at a later stage to indicate progress.

Dumisani Mpafa, BMF deputy president, said that

the appointment of an acting BEE commissioner, instead of a full-time one, was also a mind-boggling development that needed attention.

Busi Mavuso, BMF managing director, said corporate South Africa still preferred all other races ahead of black and coloured people.

“The norm within South Africa is that leadership continues to have a face and that face continues to be white and male and if they decide they want a black executive, their default will be a black male; when they decide they need to have some gender balance in the picture, then white females are top of mind.

"We are seeing a trend that if a decision is taken that says we need black female executives, then Indians are the preferred race.

"So, we are therefore saying it cannot be,” said Mavuso, who herself is the only female in the BMF executive committee.

Mavuso also said the organisation was satisfied with the addition of transformation by the JSE as a listing requirement, but did not know yet what shape or form the transformation would take.

“We need to see the employment equity plans and the transformation plans of these organisations tabled in their annual reports. We need to see their targets,” she said.

The BMF had lobbied the JSE for the transformation requirement since 2015.

Langalethu Manqele, chairperson of Gauteng and also an executive committee member, said the BMF noted that the longevity of white executives was much longer compared with black executives and blamed institutionalised racism.

He said the average tenure of black executives was three to five years while their white counterparts last on average 10 to 15 years in their positions.

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