In theory it was a sound decision by government to create the National Economic Development & Labour Council (Nedlac) in 1995 to add legitimacy and transparency to the socioeconomic decision-making process. The principal constituencies are business, labour and the state. Business is represented by Business Unity SA (Busa, a federation of employer and business organisations), while three trade union federations — Cosatu, Nactu and Fedusa— represent labour. But the forum has been like a battlefield. In February former finance minister Pravin Gordhan had a showdown with the Black Business Council (BBC), which was admitted on Busa’s ticket, when he accused it of trying to capture treasury and of being in the pockets of the Gupta family. Later came the split between the BBC and Busa. The BBC is confident that it will remain at Nedlac, but it will now have to apply for admission on its own behalf. A few weeks ago, the BBC stated how important Nedlac’s objectives were. BBC president Danisa...

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