‘Failure to trans­form is ham­per­ing growth’

CityPress - - Business - PETER LUHANGA busi­ness@city­press.co.za

The black ma­jor­ity, par­tic­u­larly Africans, should never be apolo­getic in their quest to own and con­trol South Africa’s wealth and econ­omy in a man­ner that is pro­por­tion­ate to their size, “if not more”.

The chair­per­son of the port­fo­lio com­mit­tee on trade and in­dus­try, Joan Fubbs, an ANC MP, made th­ese re­marks at the As­so­ci­a­tion of Black Se­cu­ri­ties and In­vest­ment Pro­fes­sion­als sum­mit held in Cape Town this week.

“South Africa does need a frank dis­cus­sion on this. It doesn’t need di­a­logue. It needs a con­ver­sa­tion. Our econ­omy is long over­due for change. It’s been more than 23 years since the end of leg­is­lated racism and eco­nomic ex­clu­sion of the black ma­jor­ity that came about be­cause of the colo­nial con­quest. Racial eco­nomic leg­is­la­tion has not ac­tu­ally ended,” said Fubbs.

Another cause for con­cern, she said, was white mo­nop­oly cap­i­tal.

“We need to guard against white mo­nop­oly cap­i­tal. There is no good mo­nop­oly cap­i­tal, it is not good black … it is not good white. What we are op­posed to as gov­ern­ment, as par­lia­men­tar­i­ans from the ANC, is white mo­nop­oly cap­i­tal,” she said.

She said the re­al­ity was that, when there was com­pe­ti­tion, “you bring out the best in peo­ple – not mo­nop­o­lies”.

She said the fi­nan­cial ser­vices sec­tor re­mained one of the most un­trans­formed sec­tors in the coun­try. In spite of this, she said the sec­tor had mas­sively in­creased its con­tri­bu­tion to GDP since 1994.

How­ever, gen­eral is­sues af­fect­ing trans­for­ma­tion in the sec­tor ranged from gov­ern­ment and its en­ti­ties’ lack of im­ple­men­ta­tion of leg­is­la­tion and the abuse of BBBEE ar­range­ments and con­cepts in the im­plan­ta­tion process to ac­cess to fund­ing, as it re­mained a chal­lenge for “black peo­ple”.

She said the failure to rad­i­cally trans­form the econ­omy has ham­pered growth, in­creased inequal­ity, and ex­cluded and marginalised many black peo­ple from the econ­omy.

She also said the JSE was “the most un­trans­formed in­sti­tu­tion”.

“It [the JSE] is largely un­trans­formed, but that doesn’t mean to say it will re­main un­trans­formed. When you look at all the large in­vest­ment at the JSE when it comes to black-owned shares the ma­jor­ity black-owned is small.

“That’s a re­al­ity – it doesn’t mat­ter which way we want to paint it,” she said.

PHOTO: DEAN HUT­TON

A pedes­trian passes the en­trance of the JSE in Sand­ton. The trad­ing in­sti­tu­tion has come un­der fire for fail­ing to trans­form

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