Support for BEE

Posted by Transcend
Monday, 13 August 2012  |  Comments

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What may differ might be the agendas of the various groupings of participants in the economy, noting the differences in the approach to achieving an economy that is inclusive and growing at sustainable rates.

The Black Business Council has been consulting key stakeholders in the private and public sectors to sensitise them on how to adopt a synergistic approach to accelerating economic transformation.

Council chief executive Xolani Qubeka says the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) takes precedence because it is the custodian of the required legislation and regulations to promote an inclusive and demographically relevant economic infrastructure.

The Council and DTI have exchanged correspondence on jointly running workshops across the country to inform business organisations on the plans to implement current legislative mandates as well as to get feedback on how accessible government information and programmes are to them at grassroots level.

"We should also desist from referring to previously disadvantaged individuals without making specific reference to Africans because we know that it is Africans in particular who were at the end of the queue in apartheid South Africa.

"The discrimination of the apartheid state against Africans was more brutal than that experienced by African Americans in the 1960s, to the extent that the advances gained by Africans in the economy since democracy still lags far behind that of other black people in the country.

"We have to promote an approach on set-asides or ring-fencing clearly demarcated portions of state expenditure for the exclusive access of black businesses. This is because of the workload still to be done to advance deliberate measures to accelerate the economic empowerment of the majority group in our country's population," says Qubeka.

He says the instruments provided for in terms of the Broad-based Black Economic Empowerment Act are not sufficiently far-reaching because they are premised on measurements that focus on compliance with BBBEE scorecards that do not differentiate wholly black companies from white-owned companies.

Black ownership is therefore diluted, resulting in provisions that are stacked against black companies.

It is these provisions that deliver a wholly white-owned company a rating higher than a wholly black- owned company, thereby leading to confusion about the purpose of the BBBEE legislation, he says.

"The Council believes that given the heavy odds faced by the vast majority of black businesses, a clearly defined approach on set-asides will provide a tangible and sustainable mechanism to uplift black companies.

"We also must be on record to say our approach is not a ticket to wanton incompetence by people bringing poorly structured and resourced companies to the fore whose only claim to legitimacy is the identity of the owners.

"We have stated in our founding policies that the Council stands for excellence in economic achievement by its affiliates and their members. We will be undertaking road shows together with the DTI to highlight the importance of properly structured companies that comply with all the laws and regulations of doing business in this country," says Qubeka.

He says the Council together with the DTI will also address the various issues that make registering and operating a business more of a burden to our Black Business Council affiliates' members and any business person or entrepreneur, regardless of their historical roots.

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