“BEE changes as your business evolves”
The complexities of the Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (B-BBEE) Codes, a low-growth economic environment and various other challenges that businesses are facing mean that B-BBEE is not simply a “tick box” exercise. The tremendous shortage of reliable and accurate BEE advice leaves many business owners confused when it comes to developing and integrating their BEE strategies.
What is a BEE consultant? A BEE consultant is vital for any company in South Africa that wishes to comply with BEE legislation. A BEE consultant assists businesses in untying the complexities of B-BBEE and turning B-BBEE compliance into a quantifiable development strategy.
What is the difference between a BEE consultant and a BEE verification analyst?
Clients often confuse a BEE consultant with a BEE verification analyst. The following explanation distinguishes between the two roles.
- A BEE consultant is positioned right at the centre of the BEE arena and acts as a professional advisor to different business categories ranging from small, medium and large businesses in various sectors. They are actively involved in assisting businesses with BEE queries and preparing them for successful BEE verification etc. A BEE consultant will assist you to achieve your desired level of B-BBEE compliance in the most cost effective way.
- A BEE verification analyst is the person who deals with the verification process from an independent and impartial point of view by assessing the preparation done by the BEE consultant as explained above. After the BEE consultant has gathered all the necessary information, such information is submitted to a verification agency to be verified by an independent verification analyst.
Let’s look at how important the development and implementation of a BEE strategy is.
What is the elements of a B-BBEE Strategy?
The B-BBEE strategy is a company’s plan outlining what needs to happen to achieve certain outcomes to fulfil their BEE objectives. The BEE consultant provides planning advice and is involved in drafting and customising the BEE strategic plan according to the client’s business needs for purposes of budgeting to achieve the maximum benefit from it. A BEE strategy will include the following elements:
- A layout of the terminology used in the plan;
- A breakdown of all the BEE elements and overview of the latest BEE legislation;
- A breakdown the information that was gathered in order to compile the report;
- Different proposals regarding restructuring of occupational level changes, ownership, proper skills spend on correct EAP targets and correct calculations for the monetary targets, with suggested initiatives, will be made for implementation with a view to earning optimal points on the scorecard.
The B-BBEE strategy will actually serve as a guide through the year for both the client and the BEE consultant to keep track of the proposals and effective implementation thereof. By following the guidelines as set out in the BEE strategic plan, a client can rest assured that all the BEE scorecard elements are covered as far as targets and spend are concerned.
Professional advice regarding the following BEE scorecard elements are included:
1) Ownership – what ownership entails and ownership structures that are available;
2) Management Control – reflecting the current position of employees as well as future changes;
3) Skills Development – training and skills development need to take place during the upcoming year based on the company’s projected payroll;
4) Procurement – spend on BEE suppliers and identifying where the shortfalls and opportunities are in terms of the scorecard;
5) Supplier, Enterprise and Socio-Economic Development – who will qualify as a beneficiary, what rand value needs to be spent and what needs to be implemented for that beneficiary during the financial year based on financial figures supplied by the client.
It is critical that a business client provides the BEE consultant with the required financial figures to correctly compile documentation which makes planning for financial year possible. The sooner a client starts with their BEE budget and implementation of proposals, the easier it is to obtain the desired BEE level.
In conclusion, BEE changes as your business evolves, along with legislation. Every company faces unique challenges, requirements and opportunities – and each works within the parameters of specific budgets. The role of a BEE consultant cannot be emphasised enough as BEE is a process and not a once-off exercise. It is an ongoing client-consultant relationship aimed at achieving the outcomes as outlined in a company’s BEE strategy.
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With the Department of Trade and Industry having been combined with that of Economic Development, the former minister of Trade and Industry – Rob Davies – has been replaced with Ebrahim Patel. As one of his last official duties, Davies saw the Amended B-BBEE Codes of Good Practice being gazetted on 31 May 2019.