Why so few black managers, asks BMF

Isaac Moledi and Penwell Dlamini

Isaac Moledi and Penwell Dlamini

Transforming the people's mindset on issues of employment equity and skills development will top the Black Management Forum's agenda at its annual conference starting in Johannesburg today.

The two-day conference on "The transformational mindset and the leadership requirements for a developmental state", takes place at the Sandton Convention Centre.

About 1200 people are expected to attend, said Mncane Mthunzi, pictured, managing director of BMF.

"Our aim is to reignite people's souls and consciousness. We are committed to seeing more black people involved in the country's economy," Mthunzi said.

He believes all types of organisations and enterprises in South Africa are still battling to come to grips with transformational changes brought about by political or social priorities, though many continue to resist transformation.

"Progress for all these organisations requires the skills of a legacy leader - a transformational leader who is able to manage change successfully," he said.

More than ever, transformational leadership was needed to guarantee progress in a developmental state, said Mthunzi.

The eloquent Mthunzi said his organisation still remained relevant and thought-driven, stressing that the BMF would not side-step tackling sensitive or contentious issues troubling the country.

"The question we ask ourselves is, what leadership do we require to ensure a developmental state?"

Mthunzi said BMF was worried that 13 years into the new dispensation, there were black people in executive positions "who are just passengers".

Despite having significant numbers of blacks acquiring major stakes in companies, there were still few changes, he said.

His organisation wanted to deal with gatekeepers who he described as "racists with no consciousness".

He said the government should put the same emphasis on the issue of employment equity as it did with the South African Revenue Service.

Mthunzi said the solution was a well-resourced employment equity commission.

"The quality of inspection in the Department of Labour is one reason the country is not seeing black representation at top management levels," he said.