SONA 2017 – “Let Us Unite In Driving Radical Economic Transformation For The Good Of Our Country.”
“Twenty-two years into our freedom and democracy, the majority of black people are still economically disempowered. They are dissatisfied with the economic gains from liberation.” This was the message of President Jacob Zuma at the 2017 State of the Nation Address. The SONA addressed slow economic growth and lack of job creation amongst other things, but was heavily tilted to lack of economic transformation.
The Facts About Black Ownership
With regard to black ownership, Zuma stated that only 10% of the top 100 companies on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange are owned by black South Africans. Zuma discussed the review of the Mining Charter that is underway, explaining that the charter seeks to de-racialise the ownership of the mining industry, amongst other things. According to Zuma, land ownership is insufficiently transformed, as is workplace representation. The need to correct the skewed nature of ownership and leadership patterns was highlighted and the point made that there can be no sustainability in any economy if the majority is excluded. The President said it’s time to herald a new era in radical socio-economic transformation, and to start moving beyond words into practical programs. He explained radical socio-economic transformation as being “a fundamental change in the structure, systems, institutions and patterns of ownership, management and control of the economy in favour of all South Africans, especially the poor, most of whom are African and female”. Zuma pointed out that, in this regard, the State will play a key role in the economy to drive that transformation. Strategic levers that the Government will utilise include regulations, legislation, licensing, procurement and budget, as well as B-BBEE charters to influence the behaviour of the private sector, and at the same time drive transformation. He further explained that radical economic transformation should mean moving beyond share ownership schemes only – that Black people should be directly involved in business, directly owning assets employed in the economy. During his discussions with the business community, they accepted these transformation imperatives, Zuma said. To successfully and sustainably carry on business in South Africa, crafting a robust BEE Ownership strategy is more important than ever. Contact us now to set up a meeting to start this journey.
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