The empowerment advisory council has reconfirmed its commit to lead a review of the broad based BEE codes of good practice but observers are worried that it is taking too long to act on its intentions.
The council met on Friday (April 1) and briefed President Jacob Zuma on a number of issues affecting BEE.
In a statement the council said there was a special emphasis on the implementation of the New Growth Path and the role of BBBEE in creating jobs. The meeting emphasised that BBBEE is not just about big business deals for a few individuals in society. It also has to be about the real empowerment of ordinary people. In this regard, the Council called for the consistent implementation to ensure that the policy touches the lives of more people.
The shortcomings in the implementation of BEE were noted, especially the over-emphasis on diversity of ownership and senior management. “The unintended consequence of this over-emphasis is fronting and tender abuse. We are happy that the Council spoke out so strongly against fronting which is one of the major obstacles to the implementation of BBBEE. Fronting is an insult to the dignity of the poor and we have to act decisively against it. I am pleased that the Council is so determined to work with us to act against this heinous practice,” said President Jacob Zuma.
It was agreed that fronting insults the dignity of the poor and this practise needs to be eradicated further with a view to finding effective mechanisms of eradicating this practice including possible punitive measures against those guilty of fronting practices.
It was agreed that government, with the support of the BBBEE Advisory Council, would ensure a revision of the BBBEE Codes to promote employment creation, investment in small business and cooperatives, broad-based ownership and employment equity.
The Council also recommended that government should urgently ensure proper monitoring and evaluation of the implementation of the BBEE Act. As per the BBBEE Act, all heads of government departments and chief executive officers of State Owned Entities have a legal obligation to report on the performance of their institutions on the implementation of BBBEE.