Black Management Forum (BMF) commits itself to see that through Reflecting on South Africa’s journey towards 30 years of socio-economic transformation the inclusion of women in the economic hub continues to be one of the vital strategies to pave the future of our country forward.
According to the South African Transformation Strategy for Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment from the Department of Trade and Industry of March 2023, South Africa requires an economy that can meet the needs of all its economic citizens and business sustainability (DTI, 2023). This type of position can only be attained if the economy is built on the full potential of all people and communities across the length and the breadth of the country in which the government’s objective is to achieve the vision of meeting the needs of the economy that is agile and adaptive to the essential characteristics of a country and such should result in employment and the equity that the country has set (Strydom et. Al, 2009).
Globally, women’s entrepreneurship is increasingly understood as a key driver for inclusive economic growth, as it could narrow existing gender gaps in the labour market. (UNDP, 2023). Moreover, economies characterized by high levels of female entrepreneurial activity are more resilient to financial crises and experience economic slowdowns less frequently. (UNDP, 2023). For women, entrepreneurship offers the potential of greater wealth and upward mobility (Opportunity-driven) or provides an alternative to wage employment (Necessity-driven). (UNDP, 2023). Overall, it is expected to contribute to advancing women’s rights and gender equality, both intrinsic values of the Sustainable Development Goals. (UNDP, 2023).
As the Black Management Forum (BMF), our testament gushes proudly over the appointment of Dr.Sibongile Vilakazi who is currently the woman heading the organization. We look into the future with a message that says; we are to serve and live what we preach. The future of South Africa is in bright hands, and during these critical times where we are globally facing transitioning points, we partake in the will to stand for the voiceless and represent both the struggles and achievements of our nation with a singular goal to ultimately have every life taking pride to be a South African.
B-BBEE BROAD-BASED BLACK ECONOMIC EMPOWERMENT:
Post the Apartheid era, we have experienced and seen the endless possibilities that come with being a South African where we became a nation that has worldwide inspired many across the globe in defining Ubuntu and embracing diversity. It is simply because of what has been that we wanted to rewrite the trajectories of our nation in a sense that brings hope, healing and direction. And that has been found with the inception of the B-BBEE (2007). We cannot address B-BBEE without key subjects such as Equality and Unity.
Over the years, we are a nation that has been privileged to reach democracy as a restoration to the broken pieces of our rainbow nation, however, the results will always override any theories and statements released as we judge by the performance of the indicated tools to serve and to redirect us into a phase of being harmonious and progressive society. The crucial objectives of the B-BBEE address the inclusion of black people who are South African citizens in the economy with a larger goal of national empowerment targeting historical people such as black women, the youth, rural communities and disabled people.
REVIEWING THE PERFORMANCE OF BBBEE: SUCCESSES AND UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES:
The future of South Africa is found in driving the narrative of transformative leadership exercised within the parameters of Socioeconomic scales which has unfortunately only been able to introduce and implement B-BBEE strategies that have successfully created an entry atmosphere and setting for black community where 51% black ownership is a compliance accomplished by the certificate to indicate, however, the loophole to determine the accuracy of this development calls to be thoroughly challenged as this advantage can be misused with false information and fake agencies issuing the certificate to companies.
As a democratic country, we have failed in our attempt of appropriate legislation to be responsible for South African citizens where we have the rights belonging to our citizens traded and deemed acceptable to accommodate other nationalities and thus resulted in economic crises such as unemployment, serving unintended consequences.
The only certificates considered valid are those issued by SANAS (The South African National Accreditation System). We have witnessed how the B-BBEE has successfully given the black community the foot into the right direction with opportunities influencing the decisions of our government in terms of favourable tax gains and scoring the opportunity to offer services to government sectors – public entities and municipalities. The most important one is having companies that are driven to impact society positively.
As the Black Management Forum (BMF), our views with the mission we have as the core objective is to ensure that the Black community grow more into dominating the management positions in the business world. And we exist as a supporting structure to affirm the consistency and existence of this operation. One of our key goals is to also ensure that more women have a voice in boardrooms. The B-BBEE initiative has by far paved the way even though not quickly yielded the success expected for the overall vision we have as South Africans, we are still determined to redress and not leave any stone unturned.
We are committed to not only producing leaders who are visionaries but that we shall have leaders who understand the magnitude of the mandate of black economic empowerment. The period of Covid-19 has also taught us the visibility of things that we thought had long been dealt with but instead, it was highlighted to us how we need to go back to the drawing board. As the Black Management Forum (BMF) we conclude with the stance to urge the government, the masses and the government including businesses to reinvent their authenticity by taking into consideration the importance of compliance.
In conclusion, the performance plan for 2023 is aligned with the Department of Trade and Industry’s strategic outcomes which include promoting industrialization and transformation of the economy and strengthening the capacity of the state. We would also like to bring to attention and fair clarity that we are steadfastly supporting the emergence of women in South Africa to take leadership roles and move our nation forward during these critical times that call for change, courage, and direction (BMF – 2023).
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Boipelo Letlape is a member of the Policy and Research Committee at BMF; A Woman In Power Programme candidate at BMF with Duke EC, A UNDP (United Nations Development Programme) with UNITAR (United Nations Institute For Training And Research): Advancing Gender Equality and Women Empowerment – Entrepreneurship Programme in Africa candidate.
Boipelo is a Media Practitioner with a specialization in Public Relations from Boston Media House. A Philanthropist, Community Developer, and Advocate in Women and Youth Empowerment (Social Entrepreneur).