A controversial statement indeed – but when one considers the undeniably focal role women play in the home and their increasingly influential function in the workplace many people, both men and women, would agree that women are certainly twice as important as men.  In fairness, this statement was not meant to be a truth in the general sense, but is explicitly accurate in terms of Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment.

Keith Levenstein, CEO of leading BBBEE consultancy EconoBEE, has vast experience with the BBBEE scorecard and often advises clients as to the pivotal role South African black women can have in obtaining a high level of BEE compliance.  “The BBBEE scorecard and its related legislation is a work of economic genius.  The fact that black females score double the points of their male counterparts through a clause called the Adjusted Recognition for Gender principal on the scorecard is a deliberate attempt to assist the most vulnerable of South Africa’s population through long-term empowerment,” says Levenstein.

Whilst the general formula is rather complicated, the simple result is black women should account for 50% of certain targets on the scorecard. Keith Levenstein “the BBBEE guru”, maintains that the general rule in maximising the effect of adjusted recognition for gender on the scorecard is simple: “Whatever your activity, be it skills development, selection of service providers or recruitment of top to middle management and general staff, include black women in the mix!”

Apart from the complex Adjusted Recognition for Gender there are certain points on the scorecard that are exclusively earned through the involvement of black women; such as the 2 points (of 20) within the preferential procurement section.  In order to claim points for procurement one should have 50% of all procurement deals undertaken with BBBEE compliant companies; which earns you 12 points.  By spending 6% of your total procurement spend with black female owned businesses one can earn a further 2 points, provided each business is at-least 30% black female.

The rewards of a decade of BBBEE practice are slowly seeping into the lives of the intended beneficiaries and Levenstein says that despite critics scepticism, the policy will work as long as it is implemented properly.  “BBBEE compliance should become a priority not only for South African business owners but also for government; to ensure that the effects of the policy continue to enrich the lives of all South Africans, not only a select few,” concluded Levenstein.

To understand BBBEE and the adjustment for gender principle, contact EconoBEE’s offices at 0861 11 3094 or visit their website: www.econobee.co.za.

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