Premier Thabang Makwetla launched a broad-based black economic empowerment advisory committee and forum a few days ago and already some business people are complaining.
Makwetla launched the five-member committee to advise the Mpumalanga provincial government on the implementation of black economic empowerment legislation and strategy.
The function, attended by Nafcoc and Fabcos members, among others, took place at the Emnotweni Arena in Nelspruit on Monday night.
The choice of venue bothered black owners of hotels and lodges who accused the provincial government of failing to practise what it preached.
"We were under the impression that anything to do with BEE would promote black business but the provincial government just shot itself in the foot by hiring white-owned Emnotweni Arena," said one local black hotel owner, who asked not to be identified.
Makwetla said the new committee would also assist the government in tracking transformation progress, fostering partnerships with the private sector and lobbying for the implementation of black economic empowerment in the province.
"The launch of the B-BBEE Advisory Committee and Forum is an important milestone in our efforts to grow and transform our economy," said Makwetla.
He said he expected the new advisory committee to be fearless in guiding the province towards a set of interventions that will ensure the achievement of targets and goals with regard to entrepreneurship development, the promotion of Mpumalanga, job creation and social cohesion.
"There was a similar function in Witbank recently. We were there just to clap hands for the officials, to eat and go home," said small business owner Lillian Dumezulu.