The debut of Business Report’s new columnist (May 22) is self-admonishing because, for all her hand-wringing, the crisis of management in the country is precisely why Dr Vilakazi’s Black Management Forum (BMF) wilfully disdains the principle of merit.
Beyond providing copy-and-paste details from the textbook on organisational management, Dr Vilakazi provides no real insight as to why there is a crisis in management. But then as the president of the BMF she is hardly in a position to exculpate herself from this crisis which the ideology of the BMF promotes, namely, employment equity.
One would have thought that in obtaining her PhD, Vilakazi would have contextualised the factors upon which management of organisations depend and on the role of institutional memory and experience. One would have expected an appreciation of the time which is required to nurture new talent. Above all, one would have expected ideology to have been consigned to the trash can, given the history preceding 1994.
It is, therefore, risible for Vilakazi to state that “the country needs more ethical and effective managers” because it is a natural law that equity has no place in a hierarchy of competence in which merit is the key principle. The BMF’s ideology is also at odds with the preamble of the constitution which states that South Africa belongs to all who live in it. But in terms of BMF practice, that does not extend to employment opportunities for all.
In conclusion, here is a gem of understanding I have distilled from my study of this country’s economic history: “The welfare of the majority depends on the security of the minorities.” By marginalising minorities, the BMF and its adherents, wittingly or unwittingly, are marginalising the welfare of the majority.