President Thabo Mbeki has called on black managers to aspire and proclaim themselves as emperors if they are to rid the country of rampant poverty and gender inequality.
Mr Mbeki further advised managers to exude confidence and to believe in themselves, saying this would help them to lead from the "frontline of troops' in bringing about racial and gender changes in the country?s business environment.
The President was speaking on Friday at the celebration of the 30th Anniversary of the Black Management Forum (BMF).
"There are those members of the BMF who constitute the front-line of troops to our society's change.I am convinced that through them we will overcome our problems.
".You see a poverty in South Africa.you see resistance towards gender equality. But I am sure will overcome that.Managers will make that happen,' said Mr Mbeki.
However, he explained that the country could overcome its current shortcomings, if and only if "managers effectively manage processes of change'.
He thanked BMF members for their contribution to the country?s achievements.
BMF president Nolitha Fakude lamented resistance shown by both black and white males to0 issues regarding women and youth economic empowerment.
"It should therefore be noted that issues of equity are still not addressed properly. It is particularly difficult for women to break through into the private sector's managerial positions, which will not only foresee gender equity, but women empowerment as well,' she said.
Paying tribute to the late business magnate and freedom fighter, Eric Molobi, Ms Fakude noted with sadness the rampant lack of role models in the country. She challenged members of the BMF to close this gap.
She also had a message for the President whom she described as a visionary leader and had shown "unwavering' support for women empowerment'.
"We also salute you for being a global leader on our behalf. It is an honour and privilege to have a president who proudly represents us and other African countries.'
BMF members who had shown excellence in executing their mandates and duties received Presidential Awards.
The ceremony was attended by among others, Minerals and Energy Minister Buyelwa Sonjica, Reserve Bank Governor Tito Mboweni, BMF founding President Eric Mafuna, Professor Wiseman Nkuhlu and businessman Saki Macozoma.
Former President Nelson Mandela sent a message of support.
By Sello Tang - BuaNews