Successes and failures of BBBEE to be debated

The successes and failures of the 10 years old BBBEE regime will come under the spot light next month (October) when government hosts what promises to be a landmark transformation conference.

The department of trade and industry (DTI) said yesterday in a statement it will host on the 3rd and 4th of October 2013 the first full government backed broad based black economic empowerment (BBBEE) Summit at Gallagher Estate in Midrand. The event is hosted in collaboration with in collaboration with the Presidential BBBEE Advisory Council and will be anchored by President Jacob Zuma. “The Summit signifies the celebration of 10 years of empowerment since the BBBEE Act was promulgated in 2003”.

The DTI seems to have styled the summit to become more of a commemorative event and to chart a way forward and less a whining and winging affair that tends to characterise the emotionally charged topic of BBBEE. Views on the state of BBBEE are wide and varying and tend to be dominated by submission that South Africa’s post 1994 economic redistribution policies have largely failed. This view can be heard from both the left and the right political spectrum.

The DTI said the theme for the Summit can be centered on ‘A Decade of Economic Empowerment (2003 to 2013). “The DTI intends to re-orientate the framework and to re-position BBBEE as a catalyst for economic growth and development; to demystify the myth of BBBEE being demonised and viewed as non-productive and not growing the economy”.

The DTI added that the Summit will present a good platform for the government to conduct the following activities, amongst others:

•          Unveil the amended BBBEE Act and refined BBBEE Codes of Good Practice;

•          Release the BBBEE research studies conducted by the DTI, including the follow-up on the baseline study;

•          Showcase some of the success stories on BBBEE in the past decade;

•         To facilitate and host an exhibition with the aim of show casing business opportunities, access to finance and success stories in all 9 provinces

•          To facilitate debate on the strategic direction of this country’s economic transformation policy.

•          To conduct benchmarks with other international developing countries

•          To discuss strategies of positioning BBBEE as a growth and development model for South African economy. (its role in job creation, poverty eradication, economic growth and development, SMME development)

The DTI said much progress has been recorded since the initiation stages of its transformation framework. It said since the gazetting of the Codes of Good Practice in 2007, which provided an implementation framework for transformation, the DTI managed to put together decisive instructional mechanisms. These include Verifications Systems, gazetting of Sector Charters, Equity Equivalent Investment programme, appointment of the Presidential BBBEE Advisory Council. “These institutional mechanisms are responsible for overall effective monitoring of the implementation of BBBEE”.

Furthermore, there are lots of success stories which were borne and influenced by the enactment of the B-BBEE Act and the Codes of Good Practice. These success stories are mainly through procurement opportunities, enterprise development of ordinary enterprises, opportunities to buy stakes in existing corporates by ordinary black people. B-BBEE has unlocked opportunities for most aspiring and emerging black enterprises”.

There is a need to continuously re-asses this progress from time-to time, in order to ensure that stakeholders, practitioners, and other role players converge to assess the progress of the implementation of B-BBEE”.

The magnitude of B-BBEE demands that the progress be assessed from time to time, whereby providing an environment for stakeholders, practitioners and other role players to converge and assess the progress of the implementation of B-BBEE”.

Furthermore, the National Summit will showcase National, Provincial and Local government and its products and services that have been crafted to benefit the recipients of B-BBEE. It will also show case the unsung success stories and governments efforts to ensure true and meaningful transformation and distribution of wealth and resources to the majority of South Africans”.


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