A BEEf with bullies

We have a serious BEEf with bullies.

Many large companies, state enterprises and government departments are choosing not to follow the BEE Codes of Good Practice. Some are following the parts they like and ignoring the elements and indicators and rules they dislike – or maybe don’t understand.

These organisations are simply sabotaging the B-BBEE act!

So we have an enterprise like TELKOM who use they own version of BEE – let’s call it TEE (TELKOM Economic Empowerment) , or Eskom who use EEE (actually it is called the Eskadaa), or Nedbank who choose to follow the non-existent Financial Services Charter. Are they following NEE? They tell us they have a private agreement with government allowing them to dispense with the requirements of BEE! Then there is SEE – Standard Bank’s version of BEE – they require QSEs to follow ownership requirements, even though the codes don’t require this.

Metropolitan follows MEE – basing their economic empowerment on the old draft codes which had different targets and required QSEs to choose 5 elements. They have the cheek to tell their suppliers that unless they follow 5 elements they will get no more business.

Even Government does not follow BEE – do they use GEE?

I’ll not give a name to Pick ‘n Pay’s version of economic empowerment so as not to be rude. They interpret the codes on the whole quite nicely, but have decided that if you are a supplier of theirs, clause 10.1 of Code 000, statement 000 does not apply to you. The logic, which has no legal standing, is that based on their experiences some suppliers were over-inflating their scores dramatically. It is interesting to know that they don’t trust their own suppliers to give them accurate scores. As a consumer and customer of theirs can I trust those same suppliers to supply me with quality products or are they also over-inflated? Well, if their supplier is Tiger Brands, we know that their bread price has been inflated due to illegal price fixing! And Pick ‘n Pay is still selling Tiger Brands products, whether Tiger Brands inflates its BEE score or its prices. However, any small supplier of Pick ‘n Pay will either do things the PEE way or not at all. Ok, so I did name it after all!

Which version of BEE do we like? 

Simple, the legal one! We do not like breaking the law and we do not like anyone else not following the law. It seems as if these big bullies are not serious about either BEE or obeying the law. And we wonder why there is so much crime in the country, when the bullies have no hesitation in disobeying or disregarding the law.

Is it any wonder that BEE is still progressing so slowly? How can a company become compliant when each big company is simply bullying their small suppliers into following conflicting and expensive strategies. I have yet to see a QSE laying down its requirements like Metropolitan Life is doing. I have yet to see Metropolitan being consistent in its MEE requirements of ALL its suppliers. They are bullying only those suppliers whom they know they can bully. They don’t ask TELKOM for its BEE score because they need TELKOM. They don’t care that TELKOM follows TEE. They need TELKOM but they don’t need my client because he supplies a non-critical product. Standard Bank does not demand that the landlords at some of its branches become 30% black owned by the end of the year. They have no intention of telling Liberty Life Properties, owners of Eastgate they they will move their branch unless they get a satisfactory answer by year end. But they have no hesitation in telling my small client they will stop doing business with them for the exact same reason.



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