President Jacob Zuma has called for a debate on the meaning of black economic empowerment (BEE) as he believes it is currently serving narrow business interests, the Natal Witness reported on Thursday.
“I believe that the definition of black economic empowerment has been narrowed and soon I will call on the country’s intellectual community to debate and define it,” Zuma said on Wednesday.
Speaking at the annual Christmas party hosted by his Jacob Zuma Education Trust in Nkandla, he said BEE deals were only serving a few people.
‘BEE is not about individuals who are busy getting tenders; it is about empowering the whole community, and right now many children, through the trust, have been empowered as they can now stand on their own two feet.”
He said the education trust, established 10 years ago, was a true way of defining BEE as it empowers all community members willing to work hard.
The party was attended by community members, business people and Cabinet ministers.
Among them were businessman Vivian Reddy, KwaZulu-Natal premier Zweli Mkhize, Public Administration Minister Richard Baloyi, Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini, Minister in the Presidency Collins Chabane, Police Commissioner General Bheki Cele, Transport Minister Sbu Ndebele and Communications Minister Roy Padayachie.
The event was launched a few years ago to celebrate Christmas and give gifts to underprivileged children and orphans. — Sapa