Cyril, Manyi cross swords over act
Deputy President Ramaphosa encourages black business on controversial law, but makes no clear commitments
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Engagement dinner at the Hilton Hotel in Sandton on Thursday, said he did not know when the legislation would be repealed.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Last year, at a Black Business Council event at the same venue, President Jacob Zuma said the legislation would be repealed.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.