Original publish date – Fri, 29 Jan 2010 11:04:52 +0000, Keith

Today is the last working day that “non-accredited” verification agencies are entitled to verify BEE certificates.
According to the minister’s last notice in July 2009, from end of January only accredited agencies or those in possession of a valid pre-assessment letter will be able to issue valid certificates. Prior to this “non-accredited” agencies were entitled to issue verified certificates.

There are currently 27 accredited agencies and 8 agencies in possession of a pre-assessment letter. Of those 8, 5 have letters expiring in February.
This small group is expected to perform verification of the entire population of companies that want a verified certificate. It takes an individual analyst at least a day, and sometimes a lot longer to perform verification.

At the same time no agency is entitled to verify scorecards of companies in the tourism, construction, forestry and transport industries because they have their own sector code, and no agencies have been accredited by SANAS for those sector codes.

What does this mean? The agencies will never be able to handle the expected load, or else the expected load will be far less (resulting in lower compliance). Half the economy will be unable to even get a verified certificate due to no agencies being accredited to do the job.

In July 2009 the minister issued a notice extending the period to end January 2010.

Is he going to give another extension? Will he this time choose to define what constitutes a “non-accredited agency”?