Seize assets of anti-competitive companies – NafcocPosted on Thursday, June 28th, 2012 by Pickworth, Evan (Business Day, Johannesburg) in News
The government should consider expropriating the assets of companies not complying with competition rules, says Steve Skhosana, deputy president of the National African Federated Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Nafcoc).
The chamber believes collusion by conglomerates not only disadvantages South Africa, but also sabotages small and medium-sized businesses and job creation.
Small enterprises are seen as key to fighting the problem of unemployment in South Africa.
While Nafcoc approved of the prioritisation of the economy during the African National Congress’s policy conference under way in Gauteng, Mr Skhosana warned this would only work if the Cabinet made overseeing the growth of small, medium-sized and micro enterprises (SMMEs) part of its daily activities.
Nafcoc therefore wants the government to “scale down some social ministries” and create two new ministries – for black economic empowerment (BEE) and for small business – that will concentrate on creating wealth.
Nafcoc is a member of the Black Business Council (BBC), which broke away from Business Unity South Africa (Busa) in September last year after a spat over transformation. Nafcoc had already left Busa in 2009.
The BBC earlier this month also proposed a ministry of small business, at a roundtable attended by the ANC’s economic transformation committee chairman, Enoch Godongwana, and Rural Development Minister Gugile Nkwinti, among others.
BBC spokesman Sandile Zungu said at the time the proposed ministry would focus on business development, access to funding, coaching, rehabilitation and business planning.
At the weekend, Nafcoc resolved at a summit to lobby the government to expropriate “all assets of the companies that are not complying and/or commit gross violation of business ethics as per the Competition Commission and allocate such assets towards the development of SMMEs”.
“Black small business hasn’t benefited from BEE,” said Mr Skhosana.
Another controversial recommendation Nafcoc made was to lobby the South African Local Government Association and relevant government departments to reserve more than 51% of prime land for the development of business outlets in townships and rural areas for black SMMEs.
Nafcoc said it wanted the government and development finance institutions to allocate funding and “reduce stringent requirements” for SMMEs.
It also resolved to support and speed up the establishment of a black-owned bank in the country, and to ensure that divisions were established within the bank to focus on specific sectors, such as construction, mining or property.