The department of trade and industry (DTI) has launched a management development programme focused on broad based black economic empowerment (BBBEE).
The programme was launched by the Minister of Trade and Industry Rob Davies, at the Velmore Conference Estate in Erasmia, outside Pretoria. The programme, which will be offered by the University of South Africa and Wits University, is aimed at ensuring uniformity and consistency in the application and implementation of B-BBEE. Speaking at the event, Davies said that the MDP is a milestone in the history of empowerment. “For the first time we are institutionalising and professionalising BBBEE, thus entrenching it within the economic system”.
Davies said the programme will create and build capacity in the BBBEE verification industry. “The programme presents exciting career opportunities for new entrants into this industry. Students can now elect to study BBBEE as a profession,” said Davies.
He added that in order to ensure consistent application and interpretation of the BEE policy that would lead to valid and accurate measurement, the development of the MPD was critical in building capacity in the whole economy. He said the alignment of PPPFA and BBBEE necessitate that all supply chain and procurement practitioners to be conversant with the key principles of verifying BBBEE.
The BEE Verification process has evolved since the release of the BBBEE strategy in 2003 and the promulgation of the related Act. In the initial days of implementation of the BBBEE, the market used different standards and methodologies to measure empowerment. The DTI said it was approached by the market to provide guidance on appropriate standards and entities to be used for measurement of BBBEE.
Davies said the MDP does not only change the history of BBBEE but it also talks to skills development, access to job opportunities and enterprise development.
Business Unity South Africa (BUSA) said it it welcomes the launch of the standardised national BBBEE management development programme.
“The programme will go a long way in promoting compliance with the objectives and principles of the BBBEE,” said BUSA. It will also ensure that the verification industry complies to more consistent and objective standards that will ensure bench-marking and standardisation of the methodologies in the industry. “We also welcome this development as a positive step towards regulating the verification industry,” said BUSA.
BUSA is of the view that this positive development will open the market and smooth entry of new players and as such bring the much needed capacity to allow as many companies as possible to be verified. We believe that this programme will take the BBBEE implementation forward.