BBC, BLSA ‘merger’ talks delayed

Talks between the Black Business Council (BBC) and Business Leadership SA (BLSA) to possibly merge into a single organisation have been delayed, at least according to the BLSA.

The possible merger, which was apparently suggested by President Cyril Ramaphosa to leaders of both organisations during a private meeting in Davos earlier this year, was confirmed by BLSA CEO Bonang Mohale, who said it was actually his organisation that initiated the matter.

Speaking to City Press this week, Mohale said after talks with Ramaphosa and the BBC’s secretary, George Sebulela, and chairperson Sello Rasethaba in Davos to have a united voice for business and possibly a united organisation, the BBC had not been able to commit to a date for a follow-up meeting about the issue.

“We initiated the meeting and we said we need one voice of business because we realise the reason we are fractured as business is the same reason the ANC was fractured on its way to Polokwane,” he said.

Mohale said the reason business was divided was to enable state capture.

“We realised that we must form one apex business organisation like anywhere else in the world. So we agreed and told the president.

“Maybe we will go back to Busa [Business Unity SA], maybe we will call it another name,” Mohale said.

The meeting would have only one item on the agenda and that is how to unite business, Mohale said.

But BBC CEO Kganki Matabane said the two organisations would meet next month and the date had already been set.

The two organisations previously had a fallout at the National Economic Development and Labour Council (Nedlac) in which Busa, of which BLSA is a member, terminated a cooperation agreement with the BBC last year.

The BBC is preparing for its council meeting next month when its amended memorandum of incorporation is expected to be adopted, as well as a decision taken on its annual general meeting during which new leaders would be elected.

Among the people said to be lobbied for the president position is founding member Sandile Zungu and Thandi Ndlovu, who is said to be a favourite candidate among BBC stalwarts.

Ndlovu is CEO of Motheo Construction.

Zungu said he had not been approached and would not volunteer. “I have a lot of my DNA in that organisation but I am not going to volunteer. If I am approached I will consider it,” he told City Press.

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