Codes of Good Practice – Release Date?

30th November 2006
The Star Workplace (29th November 2006), had an article written by Jonathan Goldberg quoting him as saying the codes will be released and put into law by the end of the year.

Late last year, and the end the previous year the dti did indeed release draft codes. There is therefore a good chance that the report is accurate, but our analysis is that if they do release codes it will again be in draft form.

The facts, separated from speculation and rumour is that the codes were presented to cabinet on 8th November. (see www.info.gov.za ):
“Cabinet received a progress report on the finalisation of Codes of Good Practice for Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) and noted that the codes will be finalised in December. An inter-departmental task team will be set up to finalise the codes and report back to Cabinet.”

Therefore the next crucial date is the December cabinet meeting. If cabinet approves the codes, then they can go further – however the cryptic message of  “an inter-departmental task team will be set up to finalise the codes” makes one suspect that this process will take a lot longer. How long does it take to set up an inter-departmental task team, especially in November/December? This must be a sufficiently senior task team that can send documents directly to cabinet without having to go through their respective director generals. Then they have to finalise the codes as well!

Another issue of concern is the BBBEE Act , clause 9 which states:
“9. (1) In order to promote the purposes of the Act, the Minister may by notice in the
Gazette issue codes of good practice on black economic empowerment that may
include–“

This is the famous clause that set up the codes of good practice 

However it goes onto state:
“(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 grant interested persons a period of at least 60 days to comment on the draft
comment: and
(b) code of good practice or amendment. as the case may be.”

Does this mean that the minister must publish a draft code and again give interested persons 60 days to comment, or can it be assumed that the codes of last year are the codes that are being commented on.

I suspect that the changes to last year’s draft codes will be sufficiently differently to require the minister to have to allow the 60 days of comment. If so, and I sincerely hope I’m wrong, the codes will only be gazetted in March 2007 at the earliest.

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