TO: PRINT AND ELECTRONIC MEDIA HOUSES
FROM: KGANKI MATABANE
DATE: 29 May 2020
SUBJECT: South Africa’s move to Covid-19 lockdown Level 3 on 1 June
The Black Business Council (BBC) welcomes the announcement by President Ramaphosa to move the entire country to lockdown level 3 on the 1st of June 2020.
The economic devastation of the Covid-19 pandemic lockdown in Level 5 and Level 4 caused serious economic hardships for the underprivileged in South Africa. Economists estimate that up to three million jobs may be lost in the formal and informal sectors, and that the economy will contract by more than 10% in 2020.
“We stand in full support of President Ramaphosa insofar as he has dealt with Covid-19 crisis thus far. We appreciate the difficult balancing act that he has had to strike between saving lives and protecting livelihoods. As black business, we were always of the view that the lockdown should be lifted on a risk-adjusted basis, as soon as possible, in order to re-open the economy as most of our members in the Small, Medium & Micro Enterprise Businesses (SMMEs) sector, are impacted the hardest by the covid-19 pandemic lockdown. In any case, a large number of black-owned SMMEs may not be able to re-open their doors when the lockdown is finally lifted”, said Sandile Zungu, the President of the BBC
The BBC wishes to affirm its support for the National Day of Prayer on Sunday, 31 May, which will be observed in the comfort of our homes or through virtual means. We wish to remind all South Africans that we are in the middle of the pandemic. We call upon our members, the business community at large and all South Africans to be extra-vigilant and to ensure that there is utmost compliance with the lockdown protocols (sanitisation, masks, social distancing etc).
Seeing that economic activity is slowly getting back to normal and that schools and tertiary institutions will be reopened, we urgently ask our government to extend financial relief and assistance to the individual owners and operators of public commuter taxis. The continued plight of the black taxi owners during these Covid-19 times should fill the government with shame.
We call for a concerted national effort towards fighting sexism, gender-based violence and femicide even in the midst of the lockdown.
Appointment of the CEO of the PIC
The BBC welcomes the long-awaited filling of the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) position at the Public Investment Corporation (PIC). To this end, the BBC congratulates Abel Sithole on his appointment as the CEO of the PIC. Mr Sithole is a seasoned and morally and ethically upright financial sector professional executive with extensive management experience, gained both in the public and private sectors.
Mr Sithole holds an MA (International Relations) and MPhil (Futures Studies) from the University of Stellenbosch and an MBA from Wits Business School. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Life and Pension Advisors (FILPA) and a qualified Chartered Financial Planner (CFP).
IDC’s Kalagadi Manganese business rescue application
The BBC has noted with deep concern the application by the Industrial Development Corporation of South Africa Ltd (IDC) to ask the court to appoint Sibusiso Nduna and Piers Marsden as the joint interim business rescue practitioners of Kalagadi Manganese (the company) under Section 131(5) of the Companies Act, 2008. Ms Daphne Mashile-Nkosi, the founder and executive chairman, who owns 67% of the company opposes the application of the IDC. This is messy. The BBC appeals for a mutually beneficial, speedy and judicious resolution of the dispute.
Impact of covid-19 on the BBC finances
Like any other organisation that depends on membership subscriptions, sponsorships, donations and events for funding, the BBC is severely impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic. To limit the negative impact on its finances, the BBC will, regrettably, be embarking on a retrenchment process in terms of the Labour Relations Act 54 of 1996. Consultations with staff are already underway.
The BBC membership continues to grow. In this regard, we welcome a new corporate member, Servest into our fold and also have approved membership application of a new affiliate member, African Mining Infrastructure & Steel Engineering Council (Amisec). The BBC is a dynamic organisation that wants to improve the participation of black South Africans in the mainstream South African economy. We invite corporates and membership-based organisations who share our vision to swell the ranks of the BBC.