Black Management Forum seeks to hold ANC accountable for wrongs
Black Management Forum (BMF) president Andile Nomlala has called on black professionals in the province not to shy away from criticising the ANC-led government if they are found in the wrong, saying the time of making political leaders seem like gods, was over.
Nomlala urged Eastern Cape professionals to be “brutally honest” and criticise politicians and government officials when they are doing wrong.
Speaking at a roundtable discussion of BMF’s East London, held at a local beachfront restaurant on Tuesday evening, Nomlala said professionals have in the past made a mistake of being silent when they saw things going wrong in government.
“As black professionals, we have a responsibility to hold the ruling party, the ANC, accountable.
“We made the mistake in the past few years as black professionals, a colossal mistake of liquidating our own impact or reduced ourselves to obscurity on issues of national governance.
“We also reduced ourselves to the position of obscurity when it comes to keeping our own provincial officials accountable. Now is the time where we must be brutally honest and be constructively criticising to our leadership,” Nomlala said.
“The mistake we [BMF] made in the past is that we never challenged them, we made a mistake of making our political leaders our gods, and that mistake going forward, is not going to be repeated.
“Our political leaders are our own equals as professionals, we must challenge them, we must take them to task, we must make them accountable,” he said.
“We are tired of people that are exposed to positions of responsibility, and yet they are ill-equipped, inadequate, and not properly prepared to run those positions.”
The theme of the Tuesday roundtable discussion was: “The impact of the Eastern Cape budget to stimulate socioeconomic transformation in the province in 2019 and beyond”.
Nomlala shared a panel with finance MEC Oscar Mabuyane and Nelson Mandela University’s economics department professor Ronney Ncwadi.
Nomlala, despite emphasising that the forum was apolitical, said BMF was placing their weight behind Mabuyane being deployed as the province’s premier after the May 8 general elections.
“We are very pleased that we have a generation of people like yourself at the helm of the political leadership in the province.
“I hope and honestly wish that you [Mabuyane] can be given an opportunity and responsibility to govern the province,” he said.
Nomlala said such a wish “is in line with our transformation programme as BMF of saying we are honestly tired of these 70-year-olds and semi-illiterate politicians who are given the responsibility of executive powers and yet they cannot execute anything meaningful”.
Nomlala however cautioned Mabuyane not to be self-centred when he gets to lead the province.
Mabuyane said the province was in need of “cadreship that will take us to another level”.
He said the province cannot talk development if it does not invest in research, and that the province cannot grow its economy without investing in SMMEs.
Ncwadi urged the province to address the issue of outward migration, saying that was disadvantaging the province.
Ncwadi said if the provincial government does not invest in infrastructure, it will not be able to grow its economy.
Mabuyane commended the giant step taken by Transnet this week, to visit the Eastern Cape and commit to speeding up the upgrade of the EL port and its network connection through a new railway line. — Additional reporting by Soyiso Maliti