BEE is imperative for growth: Davies

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Pretoria - Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) remains an imperative for South Africa's growth and development, Trade and Industry (dti) Minister Rob Davies said on Tuesday.

Speaking at the launch of the revised B-BBEE Codes of Good Practice on Tuesday, Davies said BEE was not only a political and economic imperative. "We need to make sure that the economy ... the control, ownership leadership is reflected in the demographics of the society in the same way as the political space is reflected in the demographic society," he said.

The public will have 60 days to submit their comments on the proposed codes.

South Africa could not expect growth and development if the leadership and the economy were in the hands of a small minority.

Research has shown that in 2008 the overall level of BEE was at level 6. There are eight BEE compliance levels with eight being the worst and seen as being non-compliant.

"The picture is not saying that we have achieved what we need to achieve," said Davies.

The revised codes sought to amend the secondary legislation arising from the Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment Act to ensure that people are truly and broadly empowered and that genuine empowerment takes place.

The revision of the codes and the amendment of the BEE Act will ensure that issues such as fronting and having small businesses pay large amounts to consultants to prove that they are BEE compliant will be dealt with.

"The current BEE generic scorecard contains seven elements and these have been reduced to five in order to align the elements more closely with the trajectory of the economic growth and development in the country, with 105 points assigned to the five elements. The points were originally 100."

All companies, except the exempted micro enterprises (EMSs) should comply with all the elements of the scorecard. "There is also some adjustment to the points allocated and the qualification criteria. There is also an enhanced recognition of the status of black-owned micro enterprises," said Davies.

Among the new things proposes in revised codes was the introduction of minimum requirements for priority elements namely ownership, skills development and enterprise and supplier development.

Qualifying small enterprises are required to comply with two of the elements, although ownership is compulsory, while large entities will have to comply with all of the requirements.

Business and the public have 60-days to submit comments regarding the codes, for consideration before the finalisation of the amendments. -

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