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President

VIEWS: 4 PAGES: 6

									Handover speech at the Triennial AGM held on the 3rd October
2012 at Gallagher, Midrand by the outgoing President of the
BMF Jimmy Manyi

Today, 03 October 2012 marks the end of my term as President of the
BMF after 6 years of service with various boards that must take the
lion share of credit in terms of providing strategic direction for
the organisation. I really cannot thank my fellow board members
enough for sticking with me through thick and thin.
I survived a “recall”, lol.

A special mention for the role that Mncane played as MD in my 1st
term with Nomhle as Deputy and indeed Tembakazi during my 2nd term
for being so complimentary to me and ensuring a crack free
presidency especially during my most difficult period in 2010. Let
me take this opportunity to especially thank her for the firm and
unequivocal support she provided. While some may in their opinion
have reduced her loyalty to being my proxy, this support was however
based on the loyalty to Presidency as a unit and the organisational
values, discipline and recognition of the importance of unity to BMF
Board in particular. Most can attest to her robustness and frankness
during 1 on 1 discussions, balanced with her ability to diffuse
situations by picking up the phone to ask warring parties to take
discussions offline to find solutions in order to preserve unity.
Some of our memorable discussions, op-eds vs. sound bites, with her
always preferring to think deeply and longer about issues vs. quick
responses, and the maturity she displayed during the concerned group
matter.
I also should hasten to thank the National Office staff who have
always been friendly and supportive to me. Membership at large for
the confidence you had in me over the years.

Indeed we found a solid organisation from our predecessors and we
made our modest contribution.
This is a very emotional moment for me, last night the MD, Mr
Nicholas Maweni was saying to me that from Thursday I shall be
suffering from withdrawal symptoms. So please allow me to digress
just a little and sketch very briefly my personal association with
the BMF.
It must have been around 1988 and I remember very well I was driving
in a bakkie on my exploration geology work in Carletonville area. I
heard Lot Ndlovu on the radio talking about the paucity of black
managers in the work place and the lack of opportunities available
to them. He made an impassioned but unapologetic plea for change.
 Needless to say everything Lot said rung true with my own situation
in the Mining industry. That defined my relationship with Lot, a
fighter for emancipation of the oppressed black professionals.
After 5years of supervising many geological drilling operations and
involvement in ore reserve estimations, I thought I was ready for
promotion.
The answer from the employer was a solid “No”, and the reason
proffered was that in order to rise to senior geologist level I
needed to have 3D experience of the ore body. In short that’s what
took me to Welkom to work in the mines for a further 5years, I did
however get promoted to Senior Geologist level after 2years of
toiling 3km underground at temperatures of sometimes 40 degrees.

Back to BMF. In 1989 I joined the Welkom branch of BMF and later
became manager secretariat under the branch chairmanship of Mr Klaas
Bogopa.
In 1992 had the privilege to fly in an aeroplane for the 1st time
during a trip to Cape Town for a BMF Conference. I remember
appreciating the 3D formation of the clouds, what a spectacle I
thought.
 The keynote speaker was the late Chris Hani. He spoke about the low
intensity warfare being waged against the black majority. His speech
was obviously political yet provided a solid base for us to
interpret our own economic situation at that time. I argue today
that we are facing yet another low intensity warfare, albeit more
economic but waged largely by the same people, only this time with a
bit of help from our own.
When the black people were being shipped as slaves from the
Continent to Europe, US and elsewhere it was the other blacks that
assisted the masters to catch and load the other blacks.
Interestingly I was once in Gorie Island in Senegal in the exact
spot where slaves were being shipped off and I was with Dr Reuel
Khoza.
I have had the privilege of being consistently and continuously
involved in the BMF and have been a protégé of icons like Bra Don
Mkwanazi, Prof Nkuhlu and Lot Ndlovu.
Having served on the BMF board since 1995 as Provincial Chair of NW,
Acting MD, co-opted Director when Bonang was Deputy President, Co-
opted Director when Nolitha was MD, Deputy President and finally
President, am arguably double title holder, longest serving board
member and Longest serving President.
This colleagues has allowed me a near perfect opportunity to reflect
on the evolution of the BMF over the past 23 years of my being
continuously an active member in good standing.
I am indeed proud of my BMF history and am also trying to send a
subtle message to the recently joined BMF members that nothing
beats experience and that a dose of humility is always advisable
when dealing with anyone with a bit of grey hair or completely bald,
lol.
In 1996 I had a singular privilege of representing the BMF at Nedlac
during the drafting of Employment Equity Act, where my 1st strand of
white hair started. This is when Loyiso Mbabane was the Director of
Employment Equity having taken over from Mpho Makwana.
Nedlac was still at the Metal Box building in Parktown.
In 1997 I had another unique privilege in the Stellenbosch BMF
Conference of being seated next bab'JB Magwaza when he raised the
motion that, BEE had no direction and required the kind of approach
that the BMF had taken in the early 90's during the development of
the Basotho Hat formula and Affirmative Action blue print. This
motion was adopted and the rest is history.
The 1st meeting of the BEECOM happened I think early 1998 in Toyota
SA where I was General Manager. Yes I am unashamedly claiming to
have been right there when it happened so that we can separate fact
from fiction.
Again without digressing it must have been in 1996/7 when I sold a
Toyota Prado to Bonang. This is when the Mercedes ML was still very
fashionable but Bonang bought from me and he told me that it's not
like he didn’t like a Pajero or the ML which were very popular then,
but that he just wanted to support me, a couple of years later he
bought a Pajero, lol.
I can tell you more stories about my association and interactions
with Bonang including his 40th birthday; I flew especially to when
he tried to live in Cape Town.
When I told the Bonang “lobby team” which he by the way he inherited
from me after a very good training, that I go a long way with Bonang
I could see that they thought I was name dropping.

Again back to the BMF.
Now that hopefully I have intimidated some of you or at least
displayed some of my BMF credentials, I hope you will give me a bit
of licence to say the following.

The profile of BMF members has radically changed in the last
10years. In the past a BMF member would typically be aware of a
family whose bread winner had lost a job or would personally be a
victim of a similar situation.
So the issue of poverty, helplessness and the need to help out was
infused into the system without anyone teaching another on how to
co-exist.
When in the BMF we say 1st we are black then we are managers it's
not a racist statement but rather an attempt to come to terms with
our reality and the connectedness to the plight of our communities.
We used to argue in the BMF that a BMF manager faced with the
prospect of cutting down costs will not easily think about
retrenchments because they would have a much better appreciation of
what happens when there is no bread winner. A BMF manager would
rather find innovative ways to increase productivity and revenue
inflows.
This community setting defined the values and the culture of the
BMF.

When the BMF argued for the advancement of black managers, the idea
was to transform the culture of the organisations so that it can
reflect the values and culture of the wider society. It was for a
more inclusive dispensation. The development of black managers was
not an end in itself.
The then BMF members used to sacrifice evenings and weekends for
good quality debates on whole range of issues around transformation.
There used to be very effective unofficial mentoring. Lot and Bra
Don were my mentors without any official arrangements. Bonang used
to sponsor me with his Affirmative Action transparencies and none of
them expected anything in return.
In BMF meetings there was no howling at each other and no “point of
order”.

I really am happy today that we still have the critical mass of the
kind of discipline that I have described hence the BMF is still
going strong.
Today we have a calibre of largely young but principled, educated
and well behaved membership.
Our student chapter is much disciplined and our young professionals
take themselves seriously and are very determined. Our stalwarts
could be integrated better in the life of the BMF but most of them
continued to attend National BMF functions. We older folks do
however have the responsibility to bridge the information gap about
the past so that the present can be properly contextualised lest the
young people become vulnerable to the expedient operators.

Sadly though, we do find top black executives some with strong BMF
background that seem to have been transformed by the establishment
instead of the other way round. It's indeed a tragedy to hear some
of the pronouncements by some of our leaders denigrating their own.
Africans are the worst at this. I am yet to hear a Jewish guy
publicly chastising his own in public.

At the height of oppression of black people I don't remember a
similar kind of slur by the white community against the oppressive
regime. Indeed there were white people who did not agree with the
oppression of black people.
But did they have regular columns dedicated to denigrate the
oppressive regime? No
Did they at a whim find it easy to ridicule their own leaders? No
What’s wrong with our black folks of today?
What happened to the communal spirit?
What happened to being each other's keeper?
Why do we rejoice at each other's downfall?
Colleagues in the Chairman's overview in the Annual report I reflect
on the key achievements and challenges of the BMF but for this
session I thought we should focus on reclaiming our values as a
people in general and as BMF members in particular.

Posture Towards Government
We have a democratically elected ANC led Government. If BMF is a
microcosm of the society, then indeed there are more ANC members in
BMF than members of other political parties. But here we are 1st BMF
and then whatever political affiliation.
Whereas we are not apolitical we are however nonpartisan.
Whereas we are non-partisan we are however not a proxy for
opposition parties.
Yes indeed the BMF must assert its independence but that cannot be
defined by being a Government basher.
The value system of the BMF must dictate how to engage with
stakeholders including government.
The BMF approach must be distinguishable from your normal liberal
approach

Posture Towards Big Business
The reason our core mandate is managerial leadership development is
not just for the sake of it, but to bring about diversity of thought
so that you don't have a homogenous top structure that sets policy
for a heterogeneous base.
When we fight for black managers to be top executives it's not
because we want them to outperform white people in being white. We
do have genuine white people!
I refuse to listen to an articulation and not be able to distinguish
where it comes from.
Race consciousness and Racism must not be confused. Asserting your
race and culture is not a statement to denigrate other races and
cultures. Racism is a negative phenomenon where some people think
that on the basis of their race they are superior to others and then
act in a prejudicial manner.
Affirmative Action is largely a race based strategy aimed at
achieving a race blind end. It seeks to correct the historical
imbalances.
The Constitution of SA understands and accepts the concept of a fair
discrimination to address the historical imbalances.
Why do we have black people that are colour blind when it is in
their favour to be black?
Is it self-hate?
Why do we have black people that are comfortably driving an agenda
they don't own?
Why are black executives pretending as if they own productive assets
they don't own?
Why is the BMF not naming and shaming the black executives that are
“house niggers”?

Posture Towards women
We have in previous AGM’s taken resolutions of gender parity but
during election time we find all kinds of reasons not to give women
opportunities.
Why do we run meetings until 22h00 at night when it’s unsafe for
women to travel alone and also knowing very well that we still have
patriarchy challenges in our own homes?
Why is it that we black males treat women similar to how blacks get
treated in the corporate............perpetual training no
graduation!

Posture Towards Media
Have we done a due diligence to know who owns media......Yes
Why all of a sudden do we think the media agenda and ours is the
same?
Why are we allowing ourselves to be so gullible?
Why are we allowing one of us to be played against another?
Why are we allowing the media to set the agenda for us?
If you allow the enemy to draw you into his battle field who do you
think will be the victor?


In conclusion

I pledge my full support to the incoming leadership.
I shall not interfere nor undermine my own leadership.
If I think the organisation is going astray I shall raise the alarm
in a constitutional manner through my branch.

I trust that the deliberations of today shall be disciplined and
observe a proper decorum and there shall be tolerance for each
other's views and no point of order.
I commit to being an active rank and file member, as we reclaim some
of our discipline, culture and honour.
Mna ke ndiyinto apha yase maBambeni, uGobingca, uKrila, uThangana,
uRhaso, u Bhodlinja!

								
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