Original publish date – Tue, 17 Aug 2010 09:05:37 +0000, Keith

I’ve come to the conclusion that government is doing nothing to further the cause of B-BBEE. The only organizations doing anything are in the private sector. Thousands of businesses have worked towards compliancy and obtained a scorecard. They give their scorecards to each other, because that is how B-BBEE is supposed to work. Each company asks the next one for a scorecard: there is no law forcing a company to get a scorecard, just the pressure from their customer in the private sector. When it comes to government, t stops working. Government does not ask for your scorecard, and few public enteprises and government departments even have their own scorecard. The incidence of compliance in the public sector is almost zero.

Some time back a survey was done by Consulta Research, purporting to show that government has made enormous strides in B-BBEE. That survey was flawed. They forgot the ask the only question that should have been in the survey: “Can you please give me your B-BBEE scorecard or B-BEE certificate.” That would have shown that private enterprise leads the way over government – in most cases the relevant government department or enterprise does not even know what B-BBEE means.

Government and departments have no scorecard, and neither do they ask for a scorecard when you may want to do business with government. If I want to do business with many of the large corporations MTN, Vodacom, FNB – the will ask for my B-BEE scorecard. This polite request, not always an demand has been sufficient for many thousands of businesses to work towards achieving a B-BBEE certificate. If government has to ask the same, the incidence of compliance would increase – probably double overnight.

Instead government chooses to focus on other areas, in contradiction to the B-BBEE codes. The debacle over ArcelorMittal is a case in point. Governmentis interested in 26% black ownership, which has almost nothing to do with B-BBEE. ArcelorMittal would want to get a B-BBEE certificate because their customers are asking, and ArcelorMittal has been promising this for years! Instead ArcelorMittal want to allocate 26% of their shares to meets government’s requirements, but this goes nowhere to helping ArcelorMittal get a scorecard.

Instead of furthering B-BBEE, and supporting those companies that have made a sincere effort, goverment is hindering B-BBEE.