Let BBBEE Make (and Not Break) Your Business

Let BBBEE Make (and Not Break) Your Business

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As most of us are by now aware, on 11 October 2013 the revised Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (BBBEE) Codes were gazetted by the Minister of Trade and Industry (DTI).

These (new) Codes were originally to become effective in October 2014, recently however the effective date was postponed to April 2015, when these will come into operation thereby replacing the existing BBBEE Codes of Good Practice.

Until April 2015 businesses may themselves consider and elect whether to follow the old or new codes.

Accordingly, it is crucial for businesses to not only understand these codes, but also to consider strategies that would facilitate compliance.

That way, businesses would comply, remain competitive and not run the risk of losing clients or work (suffering losses) due to an unexpected / unplanned decrease in rating or not being compliant at all.

Broadly speaking, the most important change is that the new codes reduce the existing seven scorecard elements (generic scorecard) to five. This is illustrated by the below generic scorecard:

BBBEE-Scorecard_BEE_Doing-business-in-SA

Each element briefly means as set out below:

 

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1. Ownership:

This interpretation of the meaning of this scorecard element remains un-changed.

2. Enterprise and Supplier Development:

Essentially, this newly introduced element represents the merger between what was previously known as enterprise development and preferential procurement. The interpretation of this element has accordingly changed as follows :

To measure the extent to which the business procurers or purchases/supports other businesses in buying / supporting suppliers who are BBBEE compliant. Furthermore, it also measures the extent to which enterprises and supplier development initiatives are intended to assist the growth and the sustainability of black enterprises (interpreted in line with the BBBEE Act broadly, see item 3 below).  

3. Management Control:

Essentially, this newly introduced element represents the merger between what was previously known as management control and employment equity.

This element measures the effective control of the entity by black people (i.e people from designated groups in terms of the BBBEE Act, importantly people from designated groups means black in the broad sense).

4. Skills Development:

This element essentially measures the extent to which employers carry out initiatives designed to develop the competencies of employees belonging to the aforementioned designated groups.

It furthermore relates to employees internally and to persons being trained or skills otherwise developed externally (in relation to the business). Accordingly, the interpretation of the meaning of this scorecard element remains un-changed.

Socio-Economic Development:

In many circles it is also known as the  CSI (corporate social investment ) element of the scorecard. Essentially this measures the support (financial or otherwise) by the business towards more philanthropic causes.

Naturally, the causes in this context must again benefit persons from the designated groups aforementioned and as such should be distinguished from donations to PBO’s that would qualify for an income tax deduction.

Although it should be distinguished from deductions in terms of income tax, a donation in this context could very well benefit both the businesses’ BBBEE scorecard (under this element) in addition to being income tax deductible.

Nicolene Schoeman-Louw
Nicolene Schoeman – Louw is an admitted attorney of the High Court of South Africa, as well as being a Conveyancer, Notary Public and Mediator. She is the Managing Director of Schoemanlaw Inc Attorneys, Conveyancers and Notaries Public (Schoemanlaw Inc Attorneys) in Cape Town. Visit www.schoemanlaw.co.za for more information or email enquiries@schoemanlaw.co.za