Boksburg: With South Africa celebrating 20 years of freedom this year, more has to be done to ensure the entry of black people into big business, says President Jacob Zuma.
Responding to a question from a delegate at the Presidential Youth Indaba on Jobs and Skills, on Sunday, President Zuma said he was aware that black business people operated in certain types of business and that this was not necessarily in big business circles.
“Black people [have been] undertaking very specific kinds of business and not getting into the big ones. I think that’s a problem that can only be seen in terms of our history,” said the President.
Under the apartheid rule black business did not thrive.
“It has only been just 20 years that we have been freed to undertake business at any scale. Black people were not allowed by law [under apartheid rule]. We’ve done many things to ensure that we move forward,” said the President, adding that government has been in talks with black business discussing the creation of black industrialists.
Government was dealing with the matter, he said.
The President surprised youth gathered at the Indaba by taking questions from the floor following his keynote address.
Giving an example on the few black businesses operating in the mining sector, President Zuma noted that when opportunities opened up in the mining sector, there was more focus on getting shares in mining as opposed to more attention being paid on the business side.
“We are dealing with this matter seriously. We as government are working hard to ensure that we develop big business for black people as well,” said the President.
On the issue of private universities seeking funding from government and then remaining as independent institutions, the President said such a relationship needs to be a mutually beneficial one.
“It cannot be a relationship that benefits one side only. It should benefit everybody else,” he said, adding that this was a matter that requires attention.
“In one sense it perpetuates to a degree, a level of inequality,” said the President.
On the issue of young people with disabilities, the President said that government in its infrastructure projects has taken into account the needs of people with disabilities.
“We are already setting funds aside,” he said, adding that the establishment of a ministry that looks into the needs of people with disabilities has brought the matter sharply into focus.
SOURCE: South African Official News