The Importance of Acquiring B-BBEE Knowledge – EconoBEE Newsletter 7 May 2009
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The Importance of Acquiring B-BBEE Knowledge
The collapse of BEE deals and the recent notice by the minister of trade and industry on verification is definitely a sign that companies need to acquire knowledge and properly implement B-BBEE. In addition, prior to their BEE verification they need to be well prepared.
"Knowledge will forever govern ignorance; and a people who mean to be their own governors must arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives." (James Madison the fourth president of USA).
Many companies have tended to focus on a quick fix to transformation or on the ownership element leaving out the other elements of B-BBEE.
All this points to the importance of acquiring B-BBEE knowledge. For instance enterprises can earn points by incorporating black women into the mainstream economic development.
Communicating decisions on B-BBEE
There are many decisions that a company can take on B-BBEE related matters. It starts from the level of commitment towards the idea behind B-BBEE. Other decisions that will follow include working on the scorecard, strategies towards scorecard optimisation, getting B-BBEE partnerships etc. It is vital that all employees understand what is going on in the company with regard to these decisions. This is important because employees have probably heard negative comments about B-BBEE.
A lot of information has been published or spoken regarding B-BBEE. Some of the information communicated has been damning. B-BBEE has been castigated as a vehicle of corruption, reverse apartheid, ideology to enrich Black politicians and evil in its totality. Individuals and institutions have often made such perceptions with little information about the whole idea behind B-BBEE. Others have given these perceptions based on their distaste of the government and its programmes. Such individuals have no trust and confidence in whatever program the government introduces. I am not writing as a spokesperson or admirer of the government but simply to give credit where it is due. B-BBEE is a noble idea that should be safeguarded by every citizen against elements of corruption both in and outside the government.
Given the different falsehoods being spread about B-BBEE, it is the duty of the responsible department or person in the organisation to relay decisions and information about B-BBEE to the rest of the workforce. The ideal person to do this would be a high-ranking official of the company. The CEO, directors or chief information officer would communicate such an important decision better because all employees are likely going to have confidence in their word. Their word will help to allay employees' fears of losing their jobs. It will also remove feelings of distrust and resistance behaviours towards company programmes aimed at advancing B-BBEE.
It is not enough that the right person communicates decisions to do with B-BBEE. These people should have full understanding of where B-BBEE is coming from, how it can be best implemented, what it has achieved, where it is going, among other issues. It is painfully surprising how senior people in companies misunderstand B-BBEE. One shudders to imagine about the level of awareness among low ranking employees.
What this entails then is that the company should send the people responsible for communicating decisions on B-BBEE for training. They should get enough education themselves so that they will be able to make all employees comfortable when B-BBEE features in the company's programs. Many company delegates who have attended our training courses have always come out with a different perception about B-BBEE. Reading through the codes of good practice is in itself insufficient. Apart from the fact that no-one will be available to explain to you the legal terminology in the B-BBEE act and codes, self study is not always the best way of getting good understanding. A training environment where there will be delegates from different companies giving their own experiences and illustrations will certainly make a big difference to one's understanding level.
The truth about B-BBEE is that it is good for our national economy, company's economy and stability of our society. It achieves this without any form of prejudice, unfairness, deprivation or any other harm to any person in the country. The key is to get enough knowledge on the part of the company's top management and then communicate it to other employees. Without communicating informed information to the rest of employees about B-BBEE and the consequent company activities B-BBEE will forever be demonized and produce negative results. Failure to communicate the right information might demotivate employees and affect production.
BEE Points = Business
That's it for the time being.
Keith and the EconoBEE Team
In this issue
EconoBEE is a BEE consultancy who has developed extremely effective tools to measure and implement Broad Based Black Economic Empowerment. Our services focus on the business side of BEE. Our services include EconoBEE Scorecard, BEE Scorecard Workshops, EME Pack, Document Pack, EconoLog and the 10 Step Process to BEE Compliance.
Our company supports various organisations and drives the BEE Expert Group to help maintain and develop knowledge in the BEE industry.
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