MESSAGE FROM THE CONVENOR - Sasha Müller
Much to our own surprise, the month of January is already behind us. We see within the next few days, the State of the Nation Address (SONA) that heralds the opening of Parliament and following shortly afterwards, the annual Budget speech. These are significant markers on our yearly calendar. The year 2021, is well and truly on its way.
There was a significant event that took place in January that is worthwhile pausing to reflect upon. The PBF was mandated by the ANC Officials to facilitate a virtual meeting between the Top 6 and black business around the ANC’s theme for 2021 - -“Unity, Renewal and Reconstruction in the year of Charlotte Maxeke”.
Such was the response and so numerous the questions submitted, that it was decided to devote the engagement to the issues of covid and the roll-out of the vaccine programme, and to hold an entirely separate webinar dedicated to address issues on South Africa’s economic recovery hosted by the ANC Treasurer-General, Cde Paul Mashatile. Planning for a date for the webinar dedicated to address issues on South Africa’s economic recovery, is well underway and the PBF will communicate that date shortly to ensure maximimum participation.
Inputs and remarks were made by President Ramaphosa, the Chair of the ANC, Cde Gwede Mantashe, the Deputy Secretary-General, Cde Jesse Duarte, and Deputy Health Minister Joe Phaahla.
It was noteable in the meeting on 19 January, that one of the important issues raised during the meeting, was that of business opportunities for black business to be part of the vaccine roll-out plan. The issue of how black businesses can be involved in such opportunities , is a significant one and well noted by the leadership at the meeting.
The decision of the NEC to undertake a series of engagements and interactions between the ANC Officials with business around the theme for 2021, -“Unity, Renewal and Reconstruction in the year of Charlotte Maxeke”, such as the one held on 19 January, is clearly bearing fruit . These engagements clearly have resonance among South Africans, seeking to be part of a positive and constructive interaction at the highest levels.
To assist this communication, the PBF has undertaken a rigorous programme and process of modernizing, updating and streamlining its work processes to be a center of excellence and a reliable and trusted communication locus between the ANC, Government and business. To this end we are increasingly using social media platforms to communicate and engage. By harnessing these modern technologies, we strive to maximize our interactions and to ensure that inputs from our subscribers reach the attention of our leadership timeously, effectively and efficiently.
For this purpose, the PBF has created a portal for its subscribers, to facilitate easier efficient, transparent, accountable and impactful interaction.
This portal is an empowerment tool to give subscribers efficient access to all the programmes and offerings of the PBF, including details about ministerial briefings, research and round table discussions, business summits, skills training and development workshops, trade exhibitions, trade facilitation, progressive Women in Business summits, the Helpdesk and of course meaningful ANC economic news and policy documents among others.
The PBF looks forward to maximizing the benefits, of this portal and in so doing, to harness our greatest strengths and to ensure the future we can achieve together in the social compact with business.