KwaZulu-Natal Finance and Economic Development MEC Zweli Mkhize has pleaded with business to add value to Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) to meet the needs of transformation.
The MEC, who was speaking at the second uMyezane BEE Awards that recognise excellence in transformation, said more people needed to benefit from BEE.
"There is this perception that BEE has only made a few people prosperous, the onus is on the private sector in ensuring that this [perception] is proven wrong," said the MEC.
He said companies should ensure the transfer of skills to those that had not gotten opportunities in the past.
Dr Mkhize added that as part of advancing transformation in the economic landscape of the province, government had set aside millions of Rands for a wide range of projects.
"We are committed to the empowerment of the youth, women and the disabled and will continue to provide an atmosphere where individuals can practice business and boost the economy of the province, this way BEE will be a catalyst fro growth and transformation," continued the MEC.
He assured everyone that BEE would not be associated with unfair practices, fronting and inefficiency.
The awards ceremony drew the attendance of members of Parliament including Finance Portfolio Committee Chairperson Cyril Xaba, local government officials and a number of business establishments.
The Natal Portland Cement won in the Corporate Social Investment category while Toyota SA won in the Youth and Skills Development category.
The award for Business Development went to Richards Bay Minerals while PG Mavundla Projects took the honours in the Successful Black Owned and Managed Business.
Ms Buhle Mkhwanazi of Fisokuhle Multiservices won the Black Business Woman award.
"It is wonderful to have won such a coveted award, it means that strides by women are being recognised," she said.
Each of the winners received a cheque for R100 000. Over 50 companies had been nominated for the awards with 20 making the final list.
The provincial Finance and Economic Development Department said the number of nominations received this year was encouraging, adding that this meant the awards were growing in stature.