ANC BIGWIG LAYS INTO BEE FIRMS
Get priorities right, says Mantashe
ANC SECRETARY-general Gwede Mantashe has warned black economic empowerment companies to stop using the state as their cash cow by providing poor-quality goods at inflated prices, or face exclusion.
He said black companies must bring quality and affordability to the table if they wanted continued support from the government.
Speaking at the ANC’s dialogue series at the University of Johannesburg yesterday, Mantashe said it was unacceptable for contractors to charge taxpayers R20 million for a public school when the private sector spent between R5m and R10m.
Mantashe questioned the tender system and lashed government officials for prioritising the enrichment of BEE companies through public contracts at the expense of the provision of quality services at affordable prices.
“We need to move away from a tender state to a state that has the capacity to do business.
“The state must be able to do what it has to do and never make secondary what has to be a primary objective,” said Mantashe.
“The primary objective of the state is to deliver food to a school. Who delivers it is secondary.”
Suggesting that the public must rise against this practice, he said: “We have tolerated it when somebody delivers bread on Monday for the whole week. By Friday, it’s stale.”
Mantashe implored black business owners to reflect on whether their conduct was not contributing to the “huge ideological attack” on BEE.