SA must ‘buy black’, BEE has failed

[Video] Victor Kgomoeswana delivers provocative speech on black consciousness and self-reliance at BMF conference.

Victor Kgomoeswana, author of Africa is Open for Business, urged the Black Management Forum (BMF) on Wednesday to champion a ‘buy black’ campaign that would address transformation by leveraging the 70% majority of black economically active participants in South Africa.

This was mooted instead of relying exclusively on positive discrimination in the form of employment equity, which has been limited in its impact. He said black people should buy products and services primarily from black people and black-owned businesses.

Said Kgomoeswana: “If all of us sitting here can say ‘I have a black dentist, a black gynaecologist, a black architect, a black electrician, a black plumber… I buy my groceries from a black-owned supermarket; I buy my car from a black-owned dealership; I watch movies by black directors…’ (then we will start to see real transformation).”

This, he said, is how black people would achieve self-reliance, instead of waiting for corporations to put them in managerial positions in order to comply with a broad-based black economic empowerment (BBBEE) scorecard.

Standing in the way of creating this environment, he said, is a lack of black consciousness among black people and a tendency of wanting to distance themselves from poverty (and the black people associated with it) once they themselves had been elevated through affirmative action. Employment equity would be much more effective once those in higher positions realise they have a responsibility to achieve the transformation agenda, first, at a personal level, and then at an organisational level, he said.

“The starting point for black consciousness is self-reliance. The starting point for the BEE scorecard is compliance (which can be manipulated). You will only be respected by white corporates in South Africa when you can prove that you can do your own thing,” he said.

Another hard-hitting example he made was that of how many black people are counted as being middle class only because of their spending power, and not because of the assets they have.

Said Kgomoeswana: “This country was built on the foundations of a thriving gold mining sector. But how many people in this room own an ounce of gold in the form of a Krugerrand, worth around R15 000? I don’t mean to be offensive, but many more of us will have 15-year-old Glenfiddich in our cupboards instead. Can you imagine if 40 million black South Africans each owned an ounce of gold? Then you can start a bank.”

The ‘buy black’ app

Chairperson of BMF Sandton Tshepo Marumule said his branch is already working on an app to make it easier for those who want to ‘buy black’. The app will tell people where to find black plumbers, doctors, electricians and others, and allow consumers to rate the service received.

“It’s something we’ve been working on after hearing people who have said they want to buy from black people but can’t because they are either too far, or simply because they cannot find them. If we leverage the collective buying power of black people then perhaps we can start seeing real transformation. Because BEE has proven to have failed for the last 21 years.”

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When the whites say that they only support white business, they are called racist. You just can’t win if you are a pale face in the new South Africa.

I support white business wherever possible because they are facing a torrid time what with bee and the labor laws. Why support people who are trying to get rid of you?

I support the initiative 100%. I only use black car guards, garden workers and domestics. And when I feel very patriotic, I buy from a company that does BEE and AA with black people only. This is the way to take Africa forward(and non-racialism backward). Luthuli House is the new Broederbond.

100% ! there are certain communities in SA that have been doing this for a long long time. South African Indians, Afrikaners, Jewish community etc
They would send there children to schools that were managed by there own so that there culture and way of could be fostered and a pride instilled.They would buy from shops owned by there own brethren etc..

The best example is Kosher catering. Imagine if blacks go to an gala dinner event they can ask for food from a black owned catered

There is no reason why the blacks should not be doing this

Malcolm-X-onomics,

this type of thinking is short sighted,

economic segregation, however you want to spin it breed ineffecient industries. Black people just need to concentrate on providing services and products that can compete in the market, despite their prevously dis-advanteged background.

Unfortunately the entrepreneurs and cadres that do make it, dont re-invest in their local communites, they buy a house in Camps bay, A German car, french wine , .

when life is good the only thing that they will purchase from SA that might be from a black South African might be the tschisinyama and even that might be supplied by Oom Jan rather than uncle Thabo.

“but many more of us will have 15-year-old Glenfiddich in our cupboards instead”

Read the above quote, re-read it and let in sink in.
This simple fact says it all doesn’t it ?
A lack of ‘black consciousness’ or plain Common Sense ?
Self Autonomy ?
Having the right priorities in life ?
How will we ever thrive as a country if people continuously need babysitters to tell them what to do ?

Buy black, create black industrialists, blah blah blah, it’s all just hot air if blacks themselves aren’t coming to the party…

By the way, what happens to all the blacks employed by white businesses, when ‘buy black’ comes into play ?

Look I agree this is racist and all the political stuff, but if it means scrapping BEEEE and AAAA. (I forget how many letters now) then this makes perfect economic sense. Let the PEOPLE VOTE with their money.

If a black company provides a good service and you want to support them then lets do it. It promotes black business, lets the person on the street “vote” with his cash. And eventually if the movement is strong enough companies will change to survive. No quotes, no use of force, no fines, no nothing. Just natural progressive change.

Politicians will be fooked as every luxury item they enjoy is imported an is made by the white man, but as for the rest of population. Buying black makes way more sense.

BEE is like trying to build a house with no foundations. The only way to resolve the inequality in this country is (unfortunately) through a process of education which will take decades, but will gradually normalise society and strengthen the economy. In the interim we need people with the skills to run the economy, not the current unqualified political appointees. No economy can be operated by people without the necessary skills. Handing people shares, jobs and free handouts just destroys wealth as the recipient cannot contribute in an effective way to the economy (apart from consumption) . But hey seeing the decision makers want a quick fix we will continue the slow decay and decline. None are so blind as those who cannot see.

As long as its not legislated as a practice then this makes sense and is true empowerment. The Jewish community has used this model very effectively for a long time. Just don’t call me a racist when I buy exclusively from white businesses…at the end of the day, everybody wants to experience value for what they buy and will source it from the best provider.

Hmmmm not sure if it is a good idea to support blacks versus the best available. Specially doctors dentists lawyers. Also there is price. If you can get the best service or product with quality backup would that not be a better test than simply buying from the nearest black business who might not offer these levels? Must I use a black brain surgeon or the best brain surgeon (who might be black)?

At least in this case you as the consumer get to choose. If a service is of equal quality and you support a black business go for it. However if quality is an issue (brain surgeon) then you can choose the more expensive option, better option or whatever. With BEE you have no choice its been made for you at the top before you step in. Its not a perfect solution, but according to the government there HAS to be compensation. This is the best way for the people (us) to enact it.

Problem is if there is never a better black product or service. For whatever reason. Then no transformation will ever take place. 🙁

VOTE with your hard earned money !!!!!! Aluta Continua !!!!

I do mentoring of previously disadvantaged entrepreneurs because I am passionate to see a real change in South Africa. One where businesses thrive and make a meaningful contribution to the entrepreneurs and their communities.

Unfortunately I am constantly faced by entrepreneurs that are looking for the government hand out or the municipal favours, charity undending, rather than ensuring that they are following good business practice and stepping up to make things happen for themselves.

We started our own new business in April 2014 in a new area, due to unemployment, with numerous challenges. Sticking to good business practice and working long hard hours our business is now beginning to thrive. No one gave us anything for free.

Networking, marketing, good service and good communication, as well as strong administration, are important to success.

We’ve used our own company resources at no cost to the entrepreneurs to assist them to achieve their goals. we get a sense of satisfaction when we see those in humble environments show shear determination and grit and win new successes each week.

The second unfortunate aspect is that few young Africans in my post graduate varsity class wanted to be Entrepreneurs. UKZN pushed hard to encourage and train them for it, but they all wanted the big corporate job with the Audi in the back garden, to “show that they had arrived”. Out of a class of 83, 70 graduated. Only 5 in the post grad class were non-African. Probably two of them took up the challenge to go into business themselves.

They needed to see that there is more prestige in doing it for yourself and uplifting your community, creating employment and economic activity in new areas, than striving for management in a previously advantaged big corporate.

South Africa needs exciting young entrepreneurs. There’s a level of risk and selflessness that comes with the challenge.

In the older generation I see an element of fear and self doubt. In the high school entrepreneur program I mentor, there I see a new generation with positive self image and courage, who find it easier to step out in spite of limited resources and achieve success.

It makes me very hopeful for our future.

Why should we buy black…if it is not the cheapest or best quality. At the end of the day….the consumers want what is best for them, nothing to do with colour.

End of comments.

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