‘There’s no place for BBBEE in vaccine rollout’ – DA
The Democratic Alliance (DA) has come out guns blazing, lambasting President Cyril Ramaphosa for his remarks about the inclusion of more black-owned businesses in the vaccine rollout.
Ramaphosa wants black business involved in vaccine rollout
This, Ramaphosa, teased at the ANC’s Progressive Business Forum on Tuesday, 19 January 2021.
The president indicated that 2021 was the year “to go deeper into exactly what makes the economy works and function, and the participation of black people in all areas of economic activity.”
This would include medical sectors, particularly the vaccine rollout.
“The distribution is going to be the area where we find opportunities (for black businesses). This is where businesses and forums need to get together and look at the contribution that they can make. We want to support black businesses,” he said.
DA says ‘no place for BBBEE in vaccine rollout’
First to challenge the president’s remarks was the DA. Shadow minister of trade and industry Dean Macpherson accused Ramaphosa of pandering to “the hardliners, rent-seekers and the politically connected in his party.”
In a statement, the DA leader brushed these ideals off as yet another ANC fast money laundering scheme that would only benefit “those who hold ANC membership cards.”
“That someone like Ramaphosa could even begin to believe that he should create business “opportunities” for his fellow cadres while his countrymen and women are dying of Covid-19 is quite frankly grotesque and sickening,” Macpherson wrote.
The shadow minister added that the president ought to prioritise the procurement of vaccines and not greasing the pockets of his allies.
“The truth is, President Ramaphosa must get his priorities straight. He can either enrich his friends and comrades or deliver vaccines in the fastest and most cost-effective method to save our citizens and economy,” Macpherson added.
Of course, the greater context of Ramaphosa’s comments involves the Employment Equity Amendment Bill which the president seeks to pass into law soon.
The bill, as reported by Business Tech, will grant minister of labour powers to regulate sectors with employment equity targets that prioritise the transformation of black people in the economy.
With regards to the vaccine rollout, the president made it clear that a stringent process will be undertaken to properly recruit qualifying businesses to partake in distributing doses to the population.
Black-owned medical businesses will, in this context, be placed at the forefront of such opportunities. But, in the DA’s view, this is another scheme by Ramaphosa to “find a money-making angle out of the pandemic.”