A “clarification notice” on the BBBEE Codes of Good Practice issued by the Department of Trade and Industry earlier this week clearly illustrates the ANC’s real intention to use BEE to further enrich the elite and well connected few, while showing utter disregard for real broad based empowerment.
The changes relate to the manner in which BEE scorecards are calculated, which now sees employee share ownership schemes (and other broad based projects) no longer count as much as individual share ownership on the BEE scorecard. In fact, these projects have been reduced to a measly 3 points on the scorecard.
The veil has finally fallen. Instead of implementing Black Economic Empowerment that is truly broad based to empower the millions of poor South Africans trapped in unemployment, the ANC remains fixated on further enriching those few who have already been empowered.
In addition to this, this clarification notice will be detrimental towards the hundreds of companies which have already, in good faith, taken action on the basis of the Codes of Good Practice which allowed them to make employee ownership schemes a key component of their ownership transformation.
To now retrospectively change those ownership schemes and agreements is highly prejudicial to companies which merely intended to comply with the Codes.
I will therefore be putting forward a motion at the next sitting of Parliament, requesting an urgent debate in the House as to the viability of these Codes.
The DA will continue to ensure that Broad Based Black Economic Empowerment is truly broad based, and does not amount to a victory for powerful business interests in the ANC at the expense of millions of poor South Africans who remain outside of the economy.
Issued by Geordin Hill-Lewis on behalf of DA, Geordin Hill-Lewis is DA’s Shadow Minister of Trade and Industry