Revised BEE codes update

Posted by Transcend
Tuesday, 29 January 2013  |  Comments

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From the Sunday World

The DTI received more than 550 submissions from public comments by the December 5 deadline last year.

The department has now begun a process of technical analysis of the data received.

This entails going through the submissions to consider what the key issues are.

Thereafter, the DTI will set up work streams that are going to look at submissions for each element to enable officials to consolidate feedback from the market.

The department's chief director responsible for BBBEE, Nomonde Mesatshwa, says: "In terms of our time frames we are hoping that we will finish this process by the end of March this year."

As to the projected period in which the new codes will be applied, Mesatshwa speculates that it could be next year.

"At this stage it is speculation because we have to afford the market an opportunity during the transitional period to adjust to the new framework. This will allow them to consider and adjust their systems," she says.

Mesatshwa says for now everybody should stick to the current codes because they are still effective.

Mesatshwa is confident that the revised codes will auger well for business in general and black business in particular.

She says: "I think the new codes are an attempt to re-orientate the implementation of BBBEE to bringing black businesses into the real economy.

"It's to make sure that we've got real participation in terms of black enterprises getting meaningful opportunities.

"We must make sure that we look at all productive sectors and at the supplier development side of companies."

The new coding proposal recommends that if a company is 100% black owned it must get an automatic Level 1 rating and if it is more than 51% black-owned it must get an automatic Level 2 rating.

Mesatshwa says that's one way of assisting black companies since they have struggled to attain a Level 1 rating under the current dispensation.

"Beyond that we are hoping that with us putting the priority elements in place, it's going to stimulate the right level of activity in terms of access to opportunities and access to market for black-owned companies.

"This can be achieved through corporate companies' supply chain systems.

"It will make sure that companies focus on issues of effective ownership, skills development and supplier enterprise development.

"We feel these three approaches, which we have canvassed through engagement in the public domain, will be able to turn around how the implementation of BBBEE has been in the past so that we can begin to see a meaningful impact in terms of black enterprises playing an effective role in the economy."

Black business is also expected to play its part in developing SMEs. She says BBBEE is still based on the concept of partnerships.

"It's still based on the concept of the business imperative in the sense that black companies must encourage each other to make sure that they comply with the intent of BBBEE.

"They must aim to get favourable ratings in terms of their initiatives," she says.

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