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Help us carry out the important work of reversing the apartheid legacy of the racial structure of the South African economy – President Jacob Zuma

Jacob Zuma
Opening remarks by President Jacob Zuma to the Inaugural Session of the Presidential Black Economic Empowerment Advisory Council, Tuynhuys, Cape Town
Ministers and Deputy Ministers,
Members of the BEE Council,
Senior officials
Invited Guests,
Good Morning Ladies and Gentlemen,
I would like to take this opportunity to welcome all members of the Advisory Council to this inaugural session.
It is an honour to welcome you during a year in which we celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Freedom Charter and Unity in Action to Advance Economic Freedom.
The year 2013 was a memorable year in the implementation of the Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment legislative framework. It marked ten years of having enacted the B-BBEE Act 53 of 2003, which coincided with the celebration of the 20 years of Democracy.
The B-BBEE Act together with the Codes of Good Practice, have been the pillars of the transformation landscape.
The legislation gave birth to the first Presidential BEE Advisory Council, which is the body responsible for advising government through the Presidency, on the implementation of the broad based black economic empowerment policy.
In December 2009, I announced the first members of the Advisory Council for a period of five years. The members whose term ended in November last year were dedicated to the task of accelerating transformation. Their commitment was duly recognised through the development of recommendations that initiated the review of the B-BBEE legislative framework. These recommendations were tabled to Cabinet in November 2010.
The recommendations were later translated into the B-BBEE Amendment Act 46 of 2013, which was signed into law in October 2014, and the amended Codes of Good Practice which come into effect on the 1st of May 2015.
In October 2013, the Advisory Council in conjunction with the Department of Trade and Industry hosted a successful B-BBEE Summit. This was the first B-BBEE Summit, and it managed to showcase the B-BBEE implementation milestones as well as identified critical government interventions to advance transformation.
In the State of the Nation Address, I mentioned government’s nine point plan to ignite growth and create jobs.
It is the role of the new members of the Advisory Council to ensure that the B-BBEE legislative framework through the Black Industrialists Programme achieves maximum inclusivity in terms of economic transformation, bearing in mind the goals set in the National Development Plan.
Ladies and gentlemen,
Among key interventions, members of the Advisory Council need to tackle historical issues hindering economic transformation such as the public procurement policy. But more fundamentally, your role is to help us as we carry out the important work of reversing the apartheid legacy of the racial structure of the South African economy.
If we are going to drive sustainable economic transformation and deracialise the economy, there has to be measures and programmes in place for government to support business, in particular black business.
This issue was also on the agenda of the recently held Cabinet Lekgotla, where it was agreed that government will set-aside 30% of appropriate categories of State procurement for purchasing from SMMEs, co-operatives as well as township and rural enterprises.
Lastly, the Advisory Council members need to ensure that as part of their on-going monitoring and evaluation, the B-BBEE framework continues to attract foreign investment through the Equity Equivalent Investment Programme.
Initiatives identified by multinational corporations under this programme must promote youth development, and skills development for our growing economy.
The first members have achieved a lot over the five year period. We look forward to working with you as members of the new Council.
Welcome to the Council, welcome to serving the nation in this new arena.
Together we will move South Africa forward!
I thank you.
Speech by President Jacob Zuma
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