Deon Oberholzer, Veri-Com CEO, advises business owners and managers to employ the knowledge of BEE experts to ensure compliance with the amended BEE codes. He says, “The codes, as always, are tricky to navigate and those choosing a Laissez Faire approach may find themselves out in the cold or at the very least, struggling to compete.”
Oberholzer explains, “We are currently faced with serious socio-economic problems in South Africa, including:
- Massive black youth unemployment
- An education crisis (we are ranked 140th in 144 countries)
- Labour issues (we are ranked 144th in 144 countries)
- Mass political turbulence.
As the 2014 elections loom, marking 20 years of post-apartheid freedom, we are still experiencing conflicting realities with slow transformation, resistance to compliance, lobbying from black business, perceptions of fronting and an urgency to develop Black Industrialists.
While there have been some success stories through the implementation of the previous codes, certain sections have caused more than a few headaches.
For example, Ownership and Management Control is usually a matter of strong views by owners, Management is limited by available skills and is slow to change and Skills Development presents problems due to the complexities and costs involved. Skills Development is generally regarded as the least adopted element in BEE compliance.
To address these issues the new codes have been developed, but with a general tendency to over-regulation, these codes may be difficult to follow.