Black Management Forum leaves Business Unity SA

The Black Management Forum (BMF) has withdrawn from Business Unity South Africa (Busa), it said on Monday.

“Amongst the reasons cited was the fundamentally flawed structure of Busa where the black business voice is permanently outnumbered and suppressed,” the BMF said.

The BMF said that of the around 50 organisations making up Busa, only ten votes went to black business.

“With one organisation/one vote there is no way black business could even have its voice heard on transformation issues.”

The BMF said Busa’s recent comments on labour law reforms, labour brokers and its stance on good governance in the process to appoint its new CEO, were examples of “how far behind Busa is on embracing transformation and good governance”.

Sake24, the business section of Beeld newspaper, reported that Manyi told Busa the BMF would compile a list of two or three names from which Busa should choose a new CEO.

However, Busa said it would follow its own recruitment process, which the BMF said was compromised.

Last month, Sake24 published a copy of a letter sent to Busa on April 8 signed by the BMF’s managing director, Nomhle Mkumbi-Ndopu.

It stated: “... the BMF can confirm that there is consensus amongst black business that they should be the ones to be entrusted with the responsibility of submitting a candidate or two for the appointment of Busa CEO, this would be a step in the right direction.”

If Busa did not agree, this would be a “deal-breaker that would determine further participation of BMF in Busa”.

However, Busa said it would follow its own recruitment process, which the BMF said was compromised.

Jerry Vilakazi, Busa CEO for five years, left on May 31. Deputy CEO Raymond Parsons would act as CEO until the position was filled.

Busa was formed in 2003 when the Black Business Council and Business South Africa united.

The BMF said it had selected the first two Busa CEOs—Bheki Sibiya and Vilakazi.

The BMF said Busa only represented the interests of “big business” and white business “to the total marginalisation of black professionals’ interests and small to medium size businesses”.

The BMF was planning a black business summit in Limpopo in August “to map out the future of a truly united business voice in South Africa”.—Sapa

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