- Commitment to economic transformation with an historic ‘Contract with South Africa.’
- Fightback against deceitful #WMC campaign, making clear Business Believes in South Africa.
- Corruption and state capture are the cancers eating away at this society – and they must be rooted out wherever they are found.
In a keynote speech in Alexandra today, Bonang Mohale, the Chief Executive of Business Leadership South Africa (BLSA),began a fightback against the deceitful #WMC campaign, with one clear message: #BusinessBelieves in South Africa.
He said BLSA members are committed to economic transformation, so that the country works for everyone, summing up his organisation’s values in an historic six-point ‘Contract with South Africa’ – which includes a focus on job creation, inclusive economic growth, empowering black business and crushing corruption.
Mohale said: “Business Believes in South Africa. South Africa’s future and our future as businesses are inseparable. We want the transformation so many in this country need so desperately. We share the values set out in its constitution. And we say humbly: we want to play our part in ensuring that South Africa works for everyone.”
He went on: “We are fighting back against the falsehoods of the White Monopoly Capital campaign and we are asserting business as a positive force in the life of this country.”
He argued: “Too many people are still living low quality lives – denied the fair chance that Madiba demanded on their behalf. Too often the dream of an equal South Africa has been betrayed. Our society continues to be ravaged by unemployment, poverty, nepotism and corruption.”
Mohale called on all political parties and civil society to make inclusive economic growth their priority, saying: “Because business believes when the economy is strong, South Africa is strong.”
Bonang Mohale and Nicky Newton-King, CEO of the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE), signed the following contract on behalf of the BLSA Board and Council.
Encourage and empower senior black leadership.
Ultimately, the best way to close the opportunity gap is to invest in more businesses owned, run by, and employing black South Africans. We pledge to grow a new generation of black business leaders and entrepreneurs.
Invest in South Africans.
South Africa can only meet the challenges of the future with a highly-skilled workforce. We will train South African managers and workers for the challenges ahead.
Invest in communities.
Business owes it to South Africans to do more to ensure the communities in which they operate thrive and prosper.
Support small businesses.
They should be the lifeblood of our economy – but too often they struggle. It is our duty to help them succeed by financing new businesses, training and mentoring entrepreneurs for success.
Condemn and root out corruption.
Corruption and state capture are the cancers that are eating away at our society. They must be rooted out, crushed and punished where we find them in the public or private sector.
Mohale also said: “Corruption and state capture are the cancers eating away at this society. We cannot create the conditions for inclusive growth in the face of state capture and corruption. Everyone who cares about this country must cry, ‘Not in my name!’ wherever they see evidence of corruption, whether in the public or private sector.”
He accepted there were areas where business needed to clean house – committing to and signing an Integrity Pledge, where BLSA members have zero tolerance of corruption – but pointed out the bigger problem was in Government: “We cannot grow our economy when these are the cancers eating away at our country. They must be rooted out and crushed.”
To create the policy environment necessary for favourable conditions for the economy to grow and succeed, “we need to see our commitment matched by government and labour, and BLSA will work with these stakeholders to map out a clear path to prioritise job creation and inclusive economic growth.”
“Only by upholding this contract that we have made today, will we ensure that the South Africa of Nelson Mandela’s dream – where everyone prospers – will become a reality,” concluded Mohale.