19 June 2008 – Published by Skills Portal

The Pretoria High Court has issued a ruling to include Chinese people in the definition of black into the Broad Based BEE Act and EE act.

This will affect your calculation of your scorecard. Previously the act defined black as being African black, coloured and Indian people who are SA citizens or became an SA citizen before 27th April 1994.

In terms of Broad Based Black Economic Empowerment a Chinese person will still need to be a South African citizen or became a citizen before the implementation date of the constitution of the Republic of South Africa Act of 1993 or prove that they should have been granted citizenship before such date.

Where does this affect companies? In the past the scorecard would regard Chinese people as non-black and as a result no BEE points would accrue.

Many companies scorecards will increase by including Chinese people and in general cause the average score of all companies to rise because of Preferential Procurement and the flow through of BEE scores.

If you have Chinese ownership or have Chinese people in your organization or you deal with Chinese owned companies you are going to need to update your scorecard.

It is possible your score has increased substantially:

– If you are Chinese owned/managed and have a turnover of less than R5 million then you are a level 3 EME, instead of level 4.

– If you have Chinese employees your employment equity score may increase.

– Your skills development score will also increase if you have trained Chinese employees.

– If you procure from a Chinese owned company you could even earn an extra 5 points for black ownership.

Chinese owned companies also qualify people in terms of Enterprise Development and Socio-economic Development beneficiaries.

It is possible that your points have increased substantially you should therefore get an update of your BEE scorecard as quickly as possible to make sure you get the maximum benefit and earn all the points you deserve.


EconoBEEs powerful BEE Management tools help companies keep track of their BEE activities. With our advanced tools you can keep track of changes as they happen to avoid having to redo your scorecard with minor changes to the definitions. Contact EconoBEE on 0861 11 3094 or info@econobee.co.za