Message from The President of South Africa, Thabo Mbeki, to the 30th Anniversary Annual General Meeting, Annual Conference and Achievement Awards dinner of the Black Management Forum - Durban
12 October 2006I am greatly honoured to congratulate the Black Management Forum (BMF) for the sterling work it has done qualitatively to transform our business sector since its formation thirty years ago. It is indeed a pleasure to wish you a happy birthday and a fruitful and successful conference.
With the founding of the Black Management Forum thirty years ago, in 1976, Eric Mafuna and his compatriots gave South Africa an organisation that is unwaveringly committed to the deracialisation of the corporate world and to the total eradication of the marginalization of the African people by a hostile business environment that privileged some sections of our society to the detriment of others. And for that we say thank you, for you have contributed valuably in making our age of hope a reality.
I believe strongly that the Forum will use this conference seriously to reflect on the momentous developments of the past thirty years as we strive towards the attainment of a truly non-racial, non-sexist, prosperous and democratic society.
I have no doubt in my mind that the Forum has a pivotal role to play in delivering a better life to all our people. When the government appointed a commission to look into the critical matter of black economic empowerment, it included the BMF. We have similarly involved this august body in many other important roles some of which are recounted by BMF President, Nolitha Fakude, elsewhere in these pages.
As we congratulate the BMF on the occasion of its 30th Anniversary, we do so earnestly believing that the Forum will continue to play a significant role in addressing the challenge of taking the success of our economy to greater heights. The need to put in the appropriate command positions properly prepared leaders - a role the BMF has claimed as its own - remains relevant as ever.
As I wish you continued success on behalf of the government and people of South Africa, I challenge you equally to rededicate yourself to the process of genuine transformation.
Happy Thirtieth Birthday! And congratulations to the award winners!
President of the Republic of South Africa