I enjoy what I do, some days more than others. Today I really enjoyed myself. I was consulting for a large multi-national that makes breakfast cereal. We were discussing their scorecard, and I was helping collect and collate all their records. It turned out that their employment equity had virtually reached targets and skills development was not far off. (We always say companies are more compliant than they realise and this is the case here). My client was overjoyed – he is the HR director and has been working on transformation from well before the BEE codes were even conceived.

The exciting part was how animated he became once we started discussing ways of reaching targets, and how much they are already doing in the fields of Enterprise Development and Socio-Economic Development. Today’s session was intended to be a fact finding/data gathering exercise – the boring part of BEE, and instead it became a strategic discussion on their – already good – scorecard. At all times we were both aware that their multi-national parent is interested in the bottom line – they had better make a profit or else! It turns out that their socio-economic development activities had already been funded by their own marketing department, as a marketing project! It’s amazing to see the interlinking of marketing and SED and the BEE codes. Its not as if marketing even realised that they would earn BEE points from their activities.

What they are doing is true empowerment, and it has already become ingrained in their business philosophy, not because of the B-BBEE act of 2003, but due to the foresight of their original founder 100 years ago.