We asked the DTI to issue the QSE codes as soon as possible, and stated that small business is in a panic as to how to comply with the as yet, still unreleased QSE codes.
Nomonde Mesatywa, the Department of Trade and Industry’s acting deputy director-general for broadening participation has told Business Day that the QSE codes will be released this week – ie today or Friday. She said there was no need for business to panic.See http://www.bdlive.co.za/business/2014/10/06/small-business-codes-due-this-week
These about to be released QSE codes will apply to all businesses outside of the sector codes whose annual turnover is between R10million and R50million and who do not have at least 51% black ownership. This is a large proportion of South African business as small businesses outnumber large businesses.
Business, especially small business thrives on certainty. Small business has no certainty as to how to comply with our important transformation policy. Any small business that will be verified after 1st May 2015 will be rated against the about-to-be released QSE codes. The score they will achieve will be based on a financial period 12 months or more prior to their verification, ie what they are doing today to support the transformation process.
Releasing the QSE codes this week is not enough. The QSE must go through a rigorous phase of public comment. They must first be issued in terms of terms of section 9(5) of the B-BBEE act.
“(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.”
Thereafter the minister must gazette it in terms of section 9(1) and only then does it become a final code of good practice.
This will give all interested person 2 months (until about the middle of December) the opportunity of commenting on the QSE codes. Presumably the minister and the dti unit will work through December, January and February to read and analyse your comments. The codes will then be re-drafted, presented to the BEE Council and various parliamentary sub-committees before final gazetting as a 9(1) code, and before May 2015. The re-drafted final codes could be different to the codes we are about to see.
We strongly urge all small business owners and organisation to read the codes, and make an effort to understand them. Thereafter all well-thought out comments should be submitted to the minister, within the 2 month window. Don’t let this be like the e-toll debacle! We will have an opportunity to comment for the next two months. We need to make a positive contribution to the debate. If you don’t comment in the preferred manner your voice will not be heard.