ABVA in Disarray

Original publish date – Tue, 02 Mar 2010 07:25:03 +0000, Keith

The split we expected in ABVA is beginning to show. EMEX has resigned from ABVA because they say they “cannot be part of a voluntary association that follows interpretations which were not gazetted by the DTI.”
We know of other agencies that are as concerned about ABVA acting as judge and jury.
Even the dti is annoyed with ABVA. Nomonde Mesatywa, chief director of BEE says “We have been engaging with them and have told them that they cannot introduce new principles and cannot pronounce on policy issues,”.
I too was interviewed for the press article and also criticized ABVA for making rules. In my interview I brought up the successful challenge that we instituted against ABVA at the Competition Commission in 2007.

Subsequently ABVA has issued a press release once again denying the turmoil in its organization. They make the following point:

On the issue of acceptance of member’s certificates, ABVA never recommended that only its member’s certificates should be accepted in the market place, but has always referred to the legal interpretation of all the legislation which governs BEE implementation, the Codes of Good Practice, the SANAS R47 and the Verification Methodology. The legal position embodied in these documents show that only agencies that have made application to SANAS before the 1st February 2010 could be regarded as a “verification agency” for purposes of the minister’s notices issued during the course of 2009.  This was ABVA’s position whether or not a particular verification agency was a member of it or not.

Before my complaint to the Competition Commission in 2007 I obtained a letter from ABVA which stated:
“ABVA requires that when their members are considering certificates for calculation of procurement points in a verification only certificates from Verification Agencies that have submitted to SANAS for accreditation will be considered valid.  In order to validate if a Verification Agency has submitted to SANAS one would need to consult with the Full Member listing on the ABVA website or request from the Verification Agency directly their proof of submission letter from SANAS.”

They also state: “The article also makes mention of a complaint against ABVA to the Competition Commission yet fails to mention that this complaint was dismissed.” This is untrue. The complaint was not dismissed. It was not referred to the tribunal due to a commitment made by ABVA not to condone actions by its members that are contrary to the codes. ABVA are now not only ignoring their commitment, but denying that they ever gave that commitment to the Competition Commission.


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