BLSA launches fightback against ‘deceitful #WMC campaign’

23/08/2017 | By Admin

Johannesburg – Business Leadership South Africa (BLSA) launched a ‘contract with South Africa’ to fight the white monopoly capital narrative, and will focus on job creation and inclusive growth.

Chief executive Bonang Mohale and JSE chief executive Nicky Newton-King signed a contract on behalf of the BLSA board and council in Alexandra on Wednesday.

During his address, Mohale said BLSA members are committed to economic transformation and announced “the fightback against the deceitful #WMC campaign” with the message that “business believes in South Africa”.

He said BLSA members are committed to economic transformation so that the country works for everyone. He summed up his organisation’s values in a historic six-point ‘Contract with South Africa’, which includes a focus on job creation, inclusive economic growth, empowering black business and crushing corruption.

“Business believes in South Africa. South Africa’s future and our future as businesses are inseparable. We want the transformation so many in this country need so desperately.

“We share the values set out in its Constitution. And we say humbly: we want to play our part in ensuring that South Africa works for everyone.”

Mohale explained that BLSA is fighting against the “falsehoods” of white monopoly capital campaign, by asserting business as a “positive force” in the country.

“Too many people are still living low quality lives – denied the fair chance that Madiba demanded on their behalf. Too often the dream of an equal South Africa has been betrayed. Our society continues to be ravaged by unemployment, poverty, nepotism and corruption.”

Contract with South Africa

The contract has six targets.

These include job creation. Between 1993 and 2015 the private sector created 2.65 million jobs; the aim is to create even more jobs.

The contract also seeks to empower senior black leadership and close the opportunity gap by investing in more businesses owned, operated by and employing black South Africans. BLSA pledges to grow a new generation of black business leaders and entrepreneurs.

BLSA will also invest in South Africans. “South Africa can only meet the challenges of the future with a highly skilled workforce. BLSA will train South African managers and workers for the challenges ahead.’

The business body will also invest in communities. “Business owes it to South Africans to do more to ensure the communities in which they operate thrive and prosper,” it said in a statement.

Small businesses will be supported through financing, training and mentoring of entrepreneurs.

‘Corruption and state capture are cancers’

BLSA also spoke out against corruption. “Corruption and state capture are the cancers that are eating away at our society.” The organisation plans to eliminate and “punish” corruption in the public and private sector.

“We cannot create the conditions for inclusive growth in the face of state capture and corruption,” said Mohale. “Everyone who cares about this country must cry, ‘Not in my name!’ wherever they see evidence of corruption, whether in the public or private sector.”

BLSA signed an Integrity Pledge, indicating its members would have zero tolerance for corruption. Mohale explained that even though the private sector has to address corruption, government should do the same.  “We cannot grow our economy when these are the cancers eating away at our country. They must be rooted out and crushed.”

He called for a policy environment that would create favourable conditions for economic growth. “We need to see our commitment matched by government and labour, and BLSA will work with these stakeholders to map out a clear path to prioritise job creation and inclusive economic growth.”

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