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Black managers will have to develop their workers so they are in a position to break the cycle of poverty, Humbelani Netshandama of the Merichie Business Academy said at the weekend.
She also said that the culture of consumerism was crippling South Africans.
Speaking at a Black Management Forum (BMF) meeting in Thohoyandou Netshandama said managers were failing to develop workers who had only their salaries to depend on.
She said the situation would keep poverty alive "for as long as they don't also manage their subordinates to win the fight against poverty".
Netshandama said unemployment perpetuated poverty and many workers remained avid consumers - to their detriment.
"We cannot die as consumers," she said. "We are crippled by the mentality of consumerism."
She said that within the context of soaring food prices it was worrying that blacks were still consumers though they had resources.
BMF, a non-governmental organisation, was formed to address the challenges faced by black managers.
The organisation said it had seen an increase in the number of members in the province but noted that there were many challenges ahead.
Provincial treasurer Tendani Nevhutalu said one of the challenges they still faced was managers who were trained but did not advance the goals of the BMF.
Fronting, he said, in which blacks were used as a face for white business, was also one of their major problems.