Cyril, Manyi cross swords over act

Deputy Pres­i­dent Ramaphosa en­cour­ages black busi­ness on con­tro­ver­sial law, but makes no clear com­mit­ments

CityPress - - Business - LESETJA MALOPE lesetja.malope@city­press.co.za

Deputy Pres­i­dent Cyril Ramaphosa has re­sisted pleas to con­cede to the wide­spread de­mand from black busi­ness to scrap the Pref­er­en­tial Pro­cure­ment Pol­icy Frame­work Act. Ramaphosa, de­liv­er­ing the key­note speech at the Black Busi­ness Coun­cil Drive Eco­nomic Re­cov­ery En­gage­ment din­ner at the Hil­ton Ho­tel in Sand­ton on Thurs­day, said he did not know when the leg­is­la­tion would be re­pealed.

Ramaphosa, who is head of gov­ern­ment busi­ness, was an­swer­ing a ques­tion asked by Pro­gres­sive Pro­fes­sion­als’ Fo­rum pres­i­dent Mzwanele Manyi on when the con­tro­ver­sial piece of leg­is­la­tion would be scrapped. Ramaphosa said: “Mzwanele Manyi has his own way of rais­ing is­sues. Each time we meet, he raises this one and I say it’s great that he keeps rais­ing it. When it didn’t change, he didn’t go out and toyi-toyi in the streets, he kept rais­ing it. And it’s good that we can have is­sues raised this way. “He and his col­leagues kept on rais­ing the is­sue un­til the penny dropped, which was that now we hear and now we un­der­stand. That is the evo­lu­tion of pro­cesses that we sup­port be­cause we are on your side.” Ramaphosa added that Manyi’s con­tin­u­ously rais­ing is­sues was bet­ter than “throw­ing stones”. Manyi has long been a vo­cal op­po­nent of the act. Black Busi­ness Coun­cil pres­i­dent Danisa Baloyi had ear­lier also pleaded with Ramaphosa to scrap the Pref­er­en­tial Pro­cure­ment Pol­icy Frame­work Act. The pro­cure­ment act “has got to go”, she said, to a round of ap­plause from the au­di­ence.

Baloyi also said gov­ern­ment needed to get rid of “dra­co­nian” reg­u­la­tions that blocked the progress of black busi­nesses.

Last year, at a Black Busi­ness Coun­cil event at the same venue, Pres­i­dent Ja­cob Zuma said the leg­is­la­tion would be re­pealed. At the time, Zuma said the plan was to re­peal it early this year.

Dur­ing his speech, Ramaphosa said al­most R1 bil­lion had al­ready been spent on the de­part­ment of trade and in­dus­try’s black in­dus­tri­al­ists pro­gramme.

Nu­mer­ous ef­forts by City Press to at­tain a list of the new in­dus­tri­al­ists proved fruit­less and, at the time of go­ing to print, the de­part­ment’s spokesper­son had still not re­sponded.

Ac­cord­ing to the act, all com­pa­nies with con­tracts above a certain thresh­old must en­sure that at least 30% of the sub­con­trac­tors are black.

Cyril Ramaphosa

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