BEE Council sets out its role

MAY 19, 2015

The Presidential Advisory Council on Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (B-BBEE) which has already held its first meeting has set itself clearly cut out responsibilities and targets to ensure an active role in transforming the economy of the country.

The council, which was appointed by President Jacob Zuma late last year, has already underwent induction into its new role at the Department of Trade and Industry (dti).

Addressing the council members in Pretoria on Monday, dti Minister Rob Davies said the role of the council will be to advise government at the highest level on the policy framework, the impact and shortcomings of BEE and on whether the current provisions are working or not.

“The aim of the new codes is to ensure that companies score broadly across the scorecard for people to be real players in the economy. We also want to encourage and engender a change in behaviour to enable SMMEs to become part of the industrialised economy,” said the Minister.

The Minister said government would like to see a model where small businesses are able to play an active role in the economy of the country.

Minister Davies said that the manufacturing sector has not transformed to the required levels as there are not enough black industrialists. He said that it was for this reason that the Black Industrialists programme led by Deputy Minister Mzwandile Masina is important to the country. Transformation in this sector, said the Minister, is required as industrialisation is the driver of economic growth.

The Minister also said that some of the earlier preliminary research has indicated that there was a lot of fronting, adding that the council should research progress with regards to the implementation of the BEE Act.

Professor Elias Links, a member of the council, said that the council had set itself priority programmes to focus on in order to ensure that they deal with the broader mandate given to them. According to him, these priority programmes included the economic revitalisation of township and broader urban renewal interventions, determining the programmes that give meaning to radical economic transformation which includes the inclusion of BEE in the implementation of the National Development Plan.

Links said the priorities will have comparative analyses of sector codes versus the generic as a standard, the Black Industrialists programme as well as looking at the overall assessment of the implementation of B-BBEE.

Minister Davies encouraged the council members to familiarise themselves with other areas of B-BBEE, including Equity Equivalence, while he also assured them of the support of the dti in its role as the secretariat. -