Bam: AA, BEE can't be permanent

2010-10-01 12:12

Sun City – Black South Africans shouldn't think that affirmative action and black economic empowerment (BEE) will go on forever. They must work hard to bring it to an end and normalise society, said Lwazi Bam, the new president of the Association for the Advancement of Black Accountants (Abasa).

"We must be impatient with the slow pace of transformation and work to hasten it so as to bring to it to an end," Bam told a conference on transformation of the accounting industry on Thursday.

Bam was making his inaugural speech after he was confirmed as president of the 25-year-old organisation, which aims to boost the number of black chartered accountants through facilitating training. Bam is also a senior executive at audit firm Deloitte.

"We need to have ambitious targets to accelerate the output of accountants," said Bam after listing his organisation's successes in the last five years.

In partnership with the SA Institute of Chartered Accountants (Saica), the association has helped increase the number of black accountants from an average of between 13% and 16% of the industry to the current 25%.  

"Black partners make up 25% of the industry," said Bam. A total 905 black chartered accountancy candidates passed their exams this year, the highest number since the organisation's formation.

Bam said Abasa should not be allowed to celebrate another 25 years of transformation efforts, as transformation must be rendered irrelevant by its success.

"Time is not on our side; we need to accelerate transformation and make it irrelevant," said Bam.

Last year the University of Fort Hare received full Saica accreditation to carry out the training of accountants. Bam said more traditionally black universities needed to be accredited as training institutions. The University of Limpopo is also gaining Saica accreditation.


  • Slow Learner - 2010-10-01 12:23

    Anyone tried CTA and QE1? those are not straight forward exams - hence the low number of CAs in South Africa.

  • BadWes - 2010-10-01 12:24

    This guy talks some sense which means he won't get very far. Just by the way, is there an "Association for the Advancement of White Accountants?" And if not, WHY not?

  • How about that - 2010-10-01 12:25

    Wisdom actually prevails.

  • bangi - 2010-10-01 12:26

    Yes it must come to an end as few blacks benefited.

  • At BadWes - 2010-10-01 13:13

    Dont be ridiculous badwes. Association for the Advancement of White Accountants would RACIST and you my good sir should be locked up with Bees for even suggesting such a disgusting thing. How you can live with yourself for making this a colour thing is beyond me. Just so we clear : A "White" association is racist. A Black association is not racist . See ?

  • Goodfornothing - 2010-10-01 13:17

    @BadWes: did you not read the article? More to the point: where have you been living the last 25 years? The majority of accountants are white, so why would white accountants need any advancement? Affirmative action and broad based BEE have their place in our twisted economy, but as one of the more educated folks pointed out in a letter in the Business Day today, the advancement of blacks and the equitable distribution of wealth will take time - decades to be more accurate. The problem is that many previously disadvantaged people see BEE as a fast track to wealth, one that in reality cannot sustain the beneficiaries as they are not equipped to manage this new wealth properly.

  • Karen@BasWes - 2010-10-01 13:26

    No, of course there is no White associations of any sort. All hell would break loose if there were and they would be branded racist organisations and probably bombed. The reverse is clearly not an issue as blacks think they can be racist and it is not called racism its called affirmative action, but whites cannot do the same. In fact blacks look after blacks and demand that whites also look after blacks, otherwise they are branded racists. The sad part is that we actually do look after blacks. We don't need special white organisations though, because we help ourselves, we are not dependant on having organisations to look after our needs and concerns.

  • Anon - 2010-10-01 13:48

    Yeah its true BEE and AA wont be forever see as at some point in time there will be no more "white" africans in ZA.

  • Pauline B - 2010-10-01 14:01

    It never worked - blacks are stil marginalised at work places. I have the right skill, i have all it takes to be empowered but i am still at the bottom.

  • Darwinian - 2010-10-01 14:02

    Is there a light at the end of the very narrow, very looooong tunnel - or is it just Malema's Lamborghini... AA will end by itself with a strong black middle class - ie why the ANC will prevent a middle class from forming. E.g. with coercing people to stay dependent on the state (by methods as the NHI). Be interesting to see how long he lasts.

  • anton - 2010-10-01 14:10

    Bam finally someone talking some sense. I hope you have great following if your bite is as good as your bark

  • Tsotsi - 2010-10-01 14:22

    It will come to an end soon as there will be nothing left to BEE and AA. Black is not a qualification!

  • anton - 2010-10-01 14:31

    I wonder if he will have a job in a week's time?

  • Johnathan - 2010-10-01 15:00

    It is illegal and immoral for whites to work hard and learn stuff, BadWes - haven't you heard anything the ANC says?!

  • D - 2010-10-01 15:02

    Good work increasing the pass rate. An organisation that realises that hard work and not handouts is the only way forward. Being an accountant I know how hard these exams are and how many intelligent white and black people I have seen fail them. A great attitude to empowerment and a big congratulations to this organisation increasing the pass rate through awareness and hard work, not asking for standards to be dropped or exams pass rates to be reduced. Good to see good news once in a while! Well done! Badwes, there is no White Accountants Board because it was/is not neccessary. This organisation ws founded in a time when accountancy as a profession was unknown to 99,9% of the black population and it was cerated to create an awareness about it. To be honest if most professional bodies had a black awareness campaign going, maybe more black people would realise that there is more than the tenderpreneur way to become wealthy and successful, and it involves good, hard, honest work. I am in no way an ANC or BEE supporter but this organisation has the right idea.

  • Kassie - 2010-10-01 15:08

    "They must work hard to bring it to an end and normalise society" Exactly, no employer will deliberately say NO to a BEE candidate of excellence prepared to work hard. The main reason BEE does not progress, is that BEE candidates usually are interested in the position, but not the work.

  • Acoountant - 2010-10-01 15:16

    @Badwes, there was a white only organisationeven though it was disguised (SAICA) Black accountants association was form as a catalyst odf advancing or producing black acoountants and we can not do away with it bescaus eof the rich history.

  • Joe @ Kassie - 2010-10-01 15:21

    If you can at least get the terminology right I might consider your opinion, which is not based of fact even, but the fact that you can't get the basics right about BEE and AA shows your level of understanding. Unfortunately many politicians are similarly ignorant about what afflicts BEE and EE and the broader transformation attempt. The only chance we have for this to work is to stop seeing transformation as representativeness, and to refuse to sink to levels where we always accuse someone else as the reason why it is failing. In other words, stop politisicing the issue.

  • Reality check - 2010-10-01 15:32

    Why would white CA's need another organisation to fight their cause if we already have Afriforum to fight against BEE or any advancement of blacks on anything percieved to be the white persons dormain. i wonder if they (afriforum) would also fight for the protection of coloureds & Indians who is also minority groups in SA

  • Fast-track - 2010-10-01 15:41

    How do you speed up a minimum 3 year degree followed by Honours (minimum 1 year degree) followed by 3 years practical? That is 7 years. Transformation/BEE is a loooonnng slow process, one that will have to be faced by ALL for a long time still.

  • Luca - 2010-10-01 15:50

    AA is NOT only about black but yet so many employers and Black people think it is. Even Deloitte thinks so. I challenge you to show your real number of disabled people. The real discriminated group. The EE Act is clear yet people chose tio misinterpret it to suite their own needs.

  • TC - 2010-10-01 16:57

    why dont they use the money wasted on AA on education, would be better spent. Whites are 10% of the population, if you take up all white jobs you only help 10% of blacks .. pretty stupid I think. There are better ways, encourage mentorships , internships and better education

  • Taetjo - 2010-10-01 17:56

    Apartheid didn't last forever, why then would BEE last forever? It's a little obvious I think...

  • Pam - 2010-10-01 18:29

    @BadWes actually there was an "Association for the Advancement of Whites" It was called APARTHEID.

  • Khoisan - 2010-10-02 08:56

    You go Pam! They so easily forget that they are where they are today (best jobs and all) because of White Economic Empowerment (WEE), which lasted for more than 300 years. How do you expect me, the black man to achieve what you could only manage over the 300 years? Is that an admission that you couldn't do it without Apartheid being on your side? You have a choice mate...either we take it violently from you or we have a peaceful method like BEE. Don't forget and your grandfather, his father and his grandfather took it away (best farms and all) from the Khoisan through the barrel of the gun. Violence is not the answer, so it’s, either you buy into BEE or go. Airlines are struggling to fill their seats, please aid them to reach their profit margins...I know you got a big extended family of privileged ones. Bye.

  • ian - 2010-10-02 10:51

    I agree that it will come to an end AND teh government should put a date to it - say 10 years from now. That will compel them to achieve their objectives. We all want a competent, advanced South Africa - to achieve that we need all our qualified resources.

  • Tuffy @ Pauline B - 2010-10-02 11:09

    So who do you want to empower you? Sounds like you're another of those who expect everything to fall in your lap. You say you have the skill and all it takes - takes to be empowered? I suspect you don't understand the meaning of what it takes to be empowered and that in itself means you DON'T have all it takes. Wakey, wakey girl.

  • Freddy - 2010-10-03 08:21

    This BEE issue must end right now because whites are now fedup in just "giving and putting things on a plate" for the disadavantaged so that it can be "stuffed up".

  • Goodcall - 2010-10-28 17:44

    Well done Bam!

  • Peter - 2011-05-05 21:11

    I agree with Bam. It's going to take a long time to 'normalise' SA society though, so I think the prospect of AA or BBBEE ending soon is a mere glimmer on the horizon.

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