Johannesburg - The SA Chamber of Commerce and Industry
(Sacci) expressed concern on Thursday about revisions to the broad-based black
economic empowerment (B-BBEE) codes of good practice.
"Sacci has identified... a number of procedural
missteps during the stakeholder consultation phase," its CEO Neren Rau
said in a statement.
Technical guidance notes and a baseline study estimating the
impact of B-BBEE legislation was absent, unfairly limiting comments by
The trade and industry department is responsible for
revisions to the codes, which govern all sectors of the economy not under an
Rau said the department had chosen to bypass the National
Economic Development and Labour Council (Nedlac) before submitting the document
to Cabinet."Nedlac plays a crucial part in finding a negotiated solution
to policy that affects the economy."
The department's grounds for doing so - that regulations
need not appear before Nedlac - were problematic.
According to the draft codes, some empowerment facets would
be classified as priority elements, including ownership, enterprise and
supplier development, and skills development.
Companies would be required to meet 40% of the targets for
these elements, or face a downgrade in their empowerment status.
Rau said a Sacci survey of 91 businesses employing more than
7 300 workers showed the proposed 40% threshold penalty scheme would impede 78%
of businesses from improving their empowered status.
While 47.3% of businesses had achieved an empowered status
of level four or higher, the proposed changes to the minimum point score would
shift almost 70% of the sample to level five or below, said Rau.
A level four empowerment status allows companies to be
treated as a wholly black-owned company for procurement purposes.
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