EconoBEE Scorecard Ver 2 Released

EconoBEE is happy to announce that EconoBEE Scorecard Ver 2 is now available. This release contains the updated gazetted scorecards for Generic and Qualifying Small Enterprises. The explanations have been completely re-written, and it should help you understand the codes better. We have had to build in some complicated calculations, such as the adjustment for gender recognition whch will make your job easier. 

EconoBEE Scorecard Ver 2 is a software tool that will help enterprises in understanding the requirements of BEE. It explains how the various scorecards work, and helps in a very easy manner to create your own scorecard. It can be used as preparation for an official rating, or can be given directly to your customers who are asking for your BEE status. 

All existing, registered users will be allowed a free download. Any registered user who wishes to purchase an updated CD instead of downloading the software can do so at a cost of R120, including postage, or collect it from our offices at a cost of R80. (inc VAT). The CD contains not only the updated software, but copies of the gazetted codes, and lots of other useful documents that will help you in your BEE endeavours. There are many more features we will be adding into the software, which will also be available as a free download.

EconoBEE Scorecard Ver 2 retails at R1500 (extra R40 for postage) incl.

Special offer for new users (*) Purchase and pay for EconoBEE Scorecard and book to attend a workshop in Johannesburg, Durban or Cape Town at a cost of R1999 incl. for both EconoBEE Scorecard (usual price R1500)  and the workshop (usual price R850). Save R351! 
We hold workshops in Johannesburg every week, and monthly in Durban and Cape Town. Our next workshop in Durban is being held on Thursday 1st March. During the workshop we explain BEE, show you how to become compliant and help you create your own scorecard.

Commentary on the latest codes and charters

While we are satisfied that government has finally gazetted the codes, they still need a lot of work. There are still grey areas where codes and indicators have not been clearly defined. For example under Employment Equity the codes state that if you earn less than 40% (a sub-minimum) for any one indicator in EE, you will not be able to claim ANY points for that element (EE). This implies that for example if you do not achieve 0.8 of a point on the indicator “disabled black person, adjusted for gender”?, you will not be able to claim any of the other 16 points available (including the bonus points). However we have heard from the dti that the 40% sub-minimum refers only to the indicator (e.g. disabled black people) in which you do not earn points, and you can therefore earn the other 16 points available. An amendment will of course need to be issued to guide ratings agencies in this regard.

Some of the mathematical formulae contained in the codes are quite complicated at first glance. The adjustment for gender was included in order to decrease the number of indicators in the codes. This made the calculations more complicated. Many aspiring ratings agencies have asked us for assistance in understanding the calculations. Our EconoBEE Scorecard of course handles this for you!

These, and other issues are probably why the codes state that “verification of BEE compliance is encouraged and to this end, the dti will from time to time issue clear guidelines on the verification process”?. They are currently unable to issue clear guidelines, and SANAS, the accreditation agency is not yet ready to start the process. For this reason we still suggest that companies resist the urge to rush to get an “accredited rating”?, It is still more important to understand what the codes are saying, and to get an idea of what your rating could be and identify how you can increase your score than just having a number.

The financial and construction sectors charters were also approved. Both charters are significantly different to the gazetted codes of good practice. The codes of good practice states that the charters should be substantially in-line with the codes, particularly the definitions. However the financial services charter defines black people as “black, coloured or Indian South Africans by birth or naturalisation” WITHOUT indicating a date for that naturalisation. At one point it even states that the people need NOT be South African citizens. 

This is contrary to the definition contained in the codes of good practice that states that you must be a South African citizen by birth or by naturalization occurring before the commencement date of the constitution of the Republic of South Africa Act of 1993 (i.e. 27th April 1994).

Interestingly enough the gazetted codes statement 003, code 000, 3.1.3. state that “the proposed Sector Code must use the same definitions in respect of all beneficiaries as those used in the Codes”. Does this make the financial sector charter unconstitutional I wonder? Hopefully not – and we do expect these teething problems to be ironed out over the coming months.

Substance over Legal Form?

Following on from the previous paragraph, the codes refer to this phrase – implying that intentions take precedence over strict legal principles. We will ask Cathy Bryant Attorneys to write an article on this important legal principle and how it affects interpretations of the codes for next month’s newsletter.