On the right BEE track
Business owners, company chief executives and managers met in Johannesburg yesterday for the third yearly Impumelelo Empowerment Conference to discuss the implementation of the black economic empowerment codes and the affect they would have on business.
Sandile Zungu, executive chairman of Zungu Investments and African Vanguard delivered the keynote speech, saying that empowerment was all about the transference of power.
"Empowerment becomes possible only if power can change and expand," he said.
"We have in earnest begun the journey and we are on the right track, but we have only scratched the surface. If a little change can yield so much, imagine the possibilities if we can affect well-established economic power blocks, which are very critical in the economic milieu and should not be left untouched if we are to achieve total transformation."
Nolitha Fakude, president and executive director at Sasol, said that the country's current skills shortage was a major stumbling block for empowerment and undermined economic growth.
"The South African history of skills development has not been a glowing one, but we are bridging the gap. We have to be consistent in training and developing our people, because it is fundamental to the success of our businesses and the economy," said Fakude.
Delegates were given the chance to interact with the speakers and their peers in panel discussions.
They were also afforded the opportunity to listen to case studies on how companies have implemented the BEE codes and how empowerment has worked for them.