Minister in the Presidency Khumbudzo Ntshavheni has warned against the resurgence of a blatant push back against transformation as detrimental to the country’s development.
According to a 2022 report by the World Bank, South Africa remains the most unequal country in the world with race playing a key role in society where 10% of the population owns more than 80% of the country’s wealth and capital.
Top management in the private sector still shows a disproportionate representation with white people occupying 62.9% of all positions.
Addressing the Black Business Council Summit on Thursday, the Minister noted the challenge against transformation policies in courts by business, that sought to implement transformative programmes.
“An unequal society is detrimental to the interest of all, be it government, private sector, non-governmental sector, and citizens (both black and white) as demonstrated by the events of July 2021,” Ntshavheni told delegates.
The Minister said Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (B-BBEE) initiatives were introduced to redress the imbalances of the past, ensuring increased participation of historically disadvantaged individuals in the economy.
“While these policies aim to create a more representative and inclusive business landscape, their effectiveness and impact continue to be subjects of debate. I must be upfront that from a government perspective, calls for the scrapping of B-BBEE without an alternative economic transformation and empowerment policy, are completely pre-mature and have no basis in economic data,” the Minister said.
She emphasized that South Africa would continue its pursuit of inclusive growth, addressing income inequality, and empowering marginalized communities.