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Call to punish non-BEE compliant firms

Mar 20 2013 10:57 Sapa

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Johannesburg - There should be consequences for companies who do not comply with black economic empowerment, the Black Management Forum said on Wednesday.

"These companies should be published in a public register and have meaningful fines imposed on them," the forum's managing director Nicholas Maweni said in a statement.

"(We) also believe that the government must invest resources and capacity in monitoring the implementation of broad-based black economic empowerment (BBBEE) on an on-going basis."

These proposals are part of submissions on the BBBEE Amendment Bill, to be tabled by the BMF at Parliament's trade and industry portfolio committee on Wednesday.

Maweni said the bill was long overdue as it addressed weaknesses identified in the BBBEE Act of 2003.

The BMF supported the formation of the BBBEE commission, which would oversee the implementation of the act, he said.

The commission would deal with non-compliance, introduction of offences, penalties and promoting good governance and accountability by creating an effective environment to implement BBBEE policies.

"This... will go a long way in discouraging fronting practices which pose the greatest threat to economic transformation," said Maweni.

"The BMF also feels strongly that the BBBEE commission should be constituted as a Chapter 9 institution, or be guided by those principles which will guarantee its independence."

Chapter 9 institutions are organisations established in terms of Chapter 9 of the Constitution to guard democracy. They include the Public Protector, Auditor General and SA Human Rights Commission.

Maweni said the BMF was encouraged that the proposed legislative amendments sought to give effect to the framework of the New Economic Growth Path, aimed at enhancing growth, employment creation, and equity.

He said the trade and industry department had to lead economic transformation in the country, and align all sectors of the economy with the BBBEE Act.

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