Why is the minister steamrolling the QSE Codes?
The proposed Amended QSE Codes were published on 10th October.
In the notice the commentary period is stated as being from 10th October 2014 to 14th November 2014 – a period of 35 days.
This is contrary to Section 9(5) of the B-BBEE Act 53 of 2003 which states:
(5) The Minister must, before issuing, replacing or amending a code of good practice in terms of subsection (1)-
(a) publish the draft code of good practice or amendment in the Gazette for public comment; and
(b) grant interested persons a period of at least 60 days to comment on the draft code of good practice or amendment, as the case may be.
This is a problem: the commentary period should have extended to at least 9th December.
It is interesting to note that the notice of 10th October refers to section 9 of the act, and not section 9(5) of the act. Whatever the motive, the proposals are only a draft and the public has a right to use all of the at least 60 days to comment. This is a big draft, containing not only the QSE codes, but also codes for equity equivalents, development of sector codes, specialised enterprises and sale of assets.
We have written to the dti requiring them to issue a notice in line with the act giving us at least until 9th December to comment.
We wonder why the minister only gave us 35 days to comment? Was it to steamroll these new codes? We have been complaining that the codes have been unacceptably delayed. If the commentary period closes in November there might have been time before year-end for the dti to read and react to the hundreds of comments they will receive.
Now they have to allow us until 9th December: more comments will be received, and they will not have time to finish the process before year-end.
Once again we only see delays. The dti cannot override the delays by removing our commentary period.
In the meantime we are working hard at giving our well-thought-out comments. This is an important policy to all small businesses.The proposed QSE codes are controversial. We encourage all affected to read the proposed codes, our blogs, attend courses and also submit a comment – BY 9TH DECEMBER 2014.