BLACK businesses will not get preferential treatment from the government simply because they are black, says ANC general secretary Gwede Mantashe.
Speaking to businesses affiliated to the ANC's Progressive Business Forum (PBF) at a consultative gala dinner organised by the PBF at the Sunnyside Park Hotel in Houghton, Joburg this week, Mantashe warned against black businesses depending on government tenders to sustain them.
"You can't plan on getting business only from government because you can't be guaranteed you will get the next tender. No business can survive if it relies only on one source of revenue.
"What is of serious concern to us is the over-inflating of prices when government is the client. You can buy a bottle of water from a garage for R9,50 but the same bottle is sold for R30 if government is buying.
"That situation can't be sustained if we have to make room for SMEs to enter the market," he said.
He said the ANC was perturbed about widespread corrupt practices in the government involving officials and business people.
He urged delegates to do all in their power to improve the quality of services rendered to the government.
He said black businesses had to be competitive if they were to be sustainable.
He made the commitment that the ANC would continue to engage business and to create a climate conducive to economic growth and development.
Mantashe also dispensed with the much anticipated outcome of the party's leadership contest ahead of its upcoming national conference in Mangaung.
He said the actions of some NEC members, who raised concerns about the leadership in the ANC, including its ability to lead, were being unfair and mischievous.
"I find it strange that someone can say publicly that a group of leaders of which he is a part is failing.
"It is as if to say of all these people, I am the only one who is okay. This is ridiculous," he said.