WATCH: Kimberley Businessmen Claim Neglect
A battle is looming between aggrieved Kimberley based businessmen and their nemesis from outside of the Northern Cape whom they accuse of disadvantaging them in the acquisition of public and private sector business opportunities. Spokesperson of the newly established non-profit organisation, Northern Cape Progressive Business Forum, Mr Lawrence Letselebe told SolomonStar Online in an exclusive interview that they are ready to stop what he dubbed an “affront against locals.”
The Forum will be unleashing a series of eyeball to eyeball confrontations against the owners of business entities that have neglected to sub-contract locals in projects being funded by the different spheres of government. “There are projects such as the R200 million housing construction and infrastructure development at Snake Park, the Greenpoint 800 housing construction worth R120 million and two three-circle road constructions that we have identified as having deliberately undermined the participation of locals. We have the requisite skills, profiles and experience and yet we are overlooked,” asserted Mr Letselebe.
He was speaking to SolomonStar Online in the wake of a meeting attended by high-powered Kimberley born black businessmen who have ventured into construction, transport logistics, security and events management. In noticing that those in attendance were mainly businessmen worth their salt and perceived to have deep pockets, SolomonStar Online asked Mr Letselebe whether their fight was not a skirmish for tenders? He riposted with; “We are not ‘tenderpreneurs,’ we all have everyday businesses like bakeries, pubs and restaurants.”
He also emphasised that government has preferential procurement legislation that promotes support towards local business and that outside companies in construction are expected to comply with the requirement that 30 percent of their work must be sub-contracted to local enterprises. The Sol Plaatje University and the Sol Plaatje Local Municipality also came in for some criticism with the Forum stating that letters of discontent have been directed to them and that they shall be kept under sharp focus. Attempts to get hold of the spokespersons of the two institutions drew a blank this morning.
Meanwhile, spokesperson of the Northern Cape Provincial Government Mr Monwabisi Nkompela indicated that his office will take consultation with the Office of the Director General and that of the Premier on this issue. “It cannot be that in an age of radical economic transformation that such could be the case. This matter needs to be addressed urgently,” said the industrious Mr Nkompela.