“We’re forging a strong partnership with Barloworld.”
“Events like today’s workshop are critical for achieving black empowerment in this country” says Liso Steto, Acting Chief Director for the Department of Trade & Industry’s Black Economic Empowerment Unit.
Speaking at the close of Barloworld’s recent supplier workshop in Cape Town, Steto praised the company for demonstrating a clear commitment towards transformation, and for driving empowerment within its value chain.
“If we’re going to grow and sustain a healthy economy in South Africa, we’re going to have to diversify our supply chains” insists Steto, who attended the event as a special guest of Barloworld Siyakhula.
“Paying lip service to empowerment is not enough; we need action. Today’s workshop was important in that regard, as an initiative for promoting transformation within our society.
“We’re excited to take part.”
In response to a delegate’s question earlier during the day’s event, Steto said it was vital that people understood the economic importance of broad-based empowerment, and that skirting compliance was not an option.
South Africa’s economy, he insists, depends on the robust participation of black entrepreneurs at all levels of commerce and industry.
“It is for this reason that we changed the B-BBEE Codes” insists Steto. “By allocating more points to enterprise and supplier development, we’re trying to promote and strengthen the growth not only of black businesspeople – but of the entire South African economy.”
“We want to create value for the country.”
Steto affirmed government’s support for the private sector, and for corporate-led initiatives aimed at driving empowerment and transformation. Government can’t go it alone, he warns. Nor does it want to.
“We want to work together with entities such as Barloworld to continue to engage people around issues of empowerment” he says. “If we partner in this regard, we’ll be successful.”
“We can build our economy together.”