Original publish date – Tue, 25 Sep 2012 06:46:15 +0000, Keith

From http://www.info.gov.za/speech/DynamicAction?pageid=461&sid=30860&tid=84460

President Zuma convenes B-BBEE Advisory Council Meeting

20 Sep 2012
President Jacob Zuma convened the fifth meeting of the Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment Advisory Council at the Union Buildings in Pretoria today.

The focus of the meeting was to monitor and evaluate progress on the overall review of the BBBEE Act and the Codes of Good Practice. The Minister of Trade and Industry gave an update on the progress on the review of the BBBEE Act and the Codes of Good Practice. Of chief importance was that the Bill has recently been approved by cabinet for introduction to Parliament very soon. The Bill is addressing the following key issues:

Circumvention: B-BBEE Fronting;
Establishing a B-BBEE Commission;
Trumping provision: B-BBEE Act to take precedence over conflicting provisions in legislations dealing with empowerment;
Monitoring of B-BBEE in Public and Private sector; and
Redesign of the B-BBEE Verification Industry.

The Bill is currently being certified by the State Law Advisors; and the Portfolio Committee will commence with the public hearings once the process is done.

On the Codes of Good Practice, Cabinet has also approved for the Codes to be gazetted for public comment for a period of 60 days. The purpose of the Codes is to assist and advise the public and private sectors in their implementation of the B-BBEE Act.

The revised Codes will enhance the implementation of B-BBEE in a meaningful and sustainable manner.

Key areas of refinement amongst others include:

The generic scorecard has been reduced to five elements with the Employment Equity and Management Control being consolidated, and Preferential Procurement and Enterprise Development merged to form a Supplier Development Element;
The points for Ownership have been broadened to include designated groups in the main points;
Thresholds for Exempted Micro Enterprises (EMEs) and Qualifying Small Enterprises (QSEs) have been adjusted;
All companies, except Exempted Micro Enterprises, will be required to comply with the five elements of the B-BBEE scorecard;
The introduction of the priority elements: Ownership, Skills Development and Supplier Development, and large enterprises to comply with all three priority elements. The priority scores of entities that do not comply with sub-minimum requirements in each priority will be discounted;
Entities (EMEs and QSEs) that are 100% black-owned will qualify as Level 1;
Entities (EMEs and QSEs) that are more than 50% black-owned will qualify as Level 2;
QSEs must comply with all 5 elements on the scorecard.

The B-BBEE Summit has been postponed to the second quarter of 2013/2014 financial year because:

The review of the B-BBEE legislative framework is not finalised; and
B-BBEE Diagnostic report has not been completed.
Two Universities have been appointed to conduct a B-BBEE research.

The task team including Advisory Council members and the dti will be appointed to coordinate and oversee the affairs of the B-BBEE Summit.

Minister of Labour also presented on the 12th annual Commission for Employment Equity Report. The quality of Employment Equity Reports received from employers improved drastically since the2009 Reporting period mainly due to tightening of regulations in 2009 and online reporting.

In terms of the report , government is performing much better than the Private Sector in terms of both race and gender representation at all three tiers, i.e. National, Provincial and Local government.

Some of the key issues raised by the minister include the following:

The Community/Social/Personal Services is the best performing sector across nearly all occupational levels, which could be related to the fact that government is included in this sector.
Manufacturing appears to be the least progressive across most sectors.
Educational institutions have also been identified as an area for attention in order to improve on their race, gender and disability representation.
The Code of Good Practice HIV and AIDS and the World of Work has been finalised and is now in line with the ILO Recommendation, 200.

The President applauded the Ministers and the Council members of a job well done, and encouraged them to continue working to ensure that transformation is achieved as envisaged in the BBBEE Strategy and Constitution.

Issued by: The Presidency
20 Sep 2012