The Black Business Council (BBC) on Thursday commended the trade and industry minister Rob Davies for being unapologetic in providing it with funding, and also commended his commitment and continued support.
This comes as the legality of the BBC funding was questioned after Davies revealed that the Department of Trade and Industry (the DTI) had donated R7-million to the organisation in the last three years.
Davies revealed the funding in a Parliamentary written reply to a question posed by Democratic Alliance MP, Werner Horn, in March.
Davies said the objective of the transfer payment was to strengthen and promote advocacy and the roll-out of the Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment Amendment, in particular, the Black Industrialist Programme.
Speaking before the closure of its National Council meeting on Friday, BBC president Danisa Baloyi said the approval of the funding was done according to the law.
Baloyi confirmed that the BBC had received R5-million in the 2014/15 financial year, and R1-million each in the two subsequent financial years.
“According to the DTI, they have complied to the Public Finance Management Act (PFMA) National Treasury regulations, with the motivation that funding to the BBC is to support its business development activities,” Baloyi said.
“There was no furore when the DTI funded and supported Business Unity South Africa in the past. Davies maintained that he is satisfied the small amount of money transferred to the BBC coincided with the mandate of the DTI.”
Baloyi said there was a need for black business organisations and black professional organisations to work as a collective to strengthen the programmes promoting Radical Economic Transformation.
Meanwhile in the National Council meeting, Dumisani Mpafa was elected as head of policy to replace the vacant role previously held by Mzwanele Manyi. Manyi resigned in March “due to ever increasing responsibilities and time constraints”.
The BBC also adopted a five-year organisational plan, established a research desk, and agreed to hold a conference with the theme of Radical Economic Transformation so that the organisation can have a coherent policy position.
At the end of the meeting, BBC delegates met with with Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba, who requested input on measures needed to ensure growth of the economy, tied to policy certainty and political stability, in the context of South Africa’s weak economic position.