BLACK BUSINESS IN DRAKENSTEIN GET’S A VOICE
The enactment of BEE as legislation and the implementation thereof have been a subject
of major debate over the past few years. The BEE phenomena have seen prominent figures
rise up to become major players in the South African economy.
But, what does this mean for Drakenstein?
It is a common fact that black business in the Drakenstein area is often associated
with small retailers, informal traders, and spaza shop owners. But, who is the voice
of these people? Who talks for them? How do they give their inputs into the
governance of this town when it comes to economic transformation?
The question therefore needs to be asked, if there is not a organized voice
for black business in the Drakenstein, where does the opportunities go,
who benefits from them, and to what extent does this contribute
towards the transformation of the economy?
As much as some people would like to criticize, the fact remains BEE is there
to assist black business people to correct the imbalances of the past.
It is with these questions in mind that Drakenstein Municipality with the
cooperation of independent business people started with a process to
establish the Drakenstein Black Business Forum.
A launch is in process of being planned on the 30 September 2009 in the
Paarl Town Hall where the structure will be officially revealed
to the business community.
According to Councillor Harisha Douman, portfolio holder for Local Economic
Development on the Mayoral Committee “the establishment of such a forum
is long overdue and if it is not encouraged black business will remain along
the sidelines of the economy and the vision of equal participation in the
mainstream economy will remain a dream.”
The objective of this structure would be to create a platform where black
business people can come together and as one voice speak to the issues
around the empowerment of black business in the area and the contributions
that they can make in growing our local economy that has been characterized
by job losses over the past few years.
In addition it will be a catalyst where all resources and opportunities will be
coordinated from in order to advance black business in order to level the
playing field and make significant contributions towards the growth
of the local economy.
According to Dr. Pravine Naidoo, Executive Director for Strategic Services
at the Drakenstein Municipality, “a well established structure for black business
is necessary for the facilitation of economic opportunities as small black
enterprises will not be able to do it on their own. I am however, cautions
that the structure must be based on substance as seeing it as a vehicle
for opportunities will only lead to the forum’s early demise”.
The forum will also host various professional bodies with similar objectives
and will add great value to the operation of the forum. The forum will ultimately
form part of the organized business structures in the Drakenstein which will form
the Drakenstein Municipality’s Local Economic Development Forum.
Further information regarding the forum can be obtained from Mr. Fabian Sitzer
at 60 Breda Street, Drakenstein Municipality, Tel: 021 807 4758
or email: firstname.lastname@example.org