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President Jacob Zuma has promised to take steps to ensure that more Black South Africans are economically empowered. The President also cautions that Black South Africans should also work harder to to achieve their business and financial goals.

Speaking to the Black Business Council, South Africa’s president Jacob Zuma said, ”the Preferential Procurement Policy Framework Act will be changed to continue the quest for a transformed economy”.

“More people must be brought into the net to benefit from government contracts”, he said.

The President said a “flexible” preferential procurement programme would be introduced, that is responsive to government objectives.

Pres. Zuma would also like to see more black people in senior positions in companies, as executives, policy makers, managers and senior managers.

He is convinced that investors are in favor of Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) because it creates certainty.

“Political freedom has been achieved, economic freedom is still a work in progress” he said.

“In China, the Chinese are in control of the economy. In India, the Indians are in control of the economy… The case in South Africa is not the same,” he said. What sets these countries apart is the “iron discipline” to work hard. He said that the lack of discipline among South Africans is what counts us down.

The president’s words will be music to the ears of the tenderpreneur brigade, though not so sweet to the small army of entrepreneurs who aren’t black but play a meaningful role in job creation and economic growth and are already doing their bit for BEE.

An amended public procurement bill is set to be released for discussion next month and tabled in Parliament.

Furthermore, Zuma said that the black empowerment policy was developed to remove the historical and current impediments that inhibit the black majority from participating and benefitting from the activities of the economy.

The Black Business Council has an important role to play in championing economic transformation in our country.

You have a responsibility to work with the democratic state to ensure that the objectives that guided our struggle for liberation are met.