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BUILD Mag June 2023

A free resource for small business owners. Includes business tips and ideas, lifestyle content, small business features, quick lunch ideas and more

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Understanding

BEE

Black Economic Empowerment or BEE, as it

is commonly called, is often misunderstood.

The perception that the concept is a penal

measure meant to punish non-conforming

entities is incorrect.

Coming out of apartheid, it was clear that

the socio-economic landscape was wholly

unequal. There was a huge gap in skills

capabilities between disadvantaged

individuals and White people. Access to jobs

was not as easy for for Black people (in

terms of BEE Black includes African, Indian

and Coloured people).

The South African government identified

the need to create policies to help bridge

these gaps and provide easier access to

employment and skills development for

previously disadvantaged communities and

people who still bore the effects of the

apartheid regime.

The Employment Equity Act, Skills

Development Act, Labour Relations Act,

Basic Conditions of Employment Act were

all enacted or amended to be more inclusive,

to create space for people who would not

otherwise be able to gain access to jobs.

But this was not creating the kind of impact

that was needed.

The policy makers realised that a more

targeted kind of policy was needed to

directly address the particular issues

that were a residual consequence of

apartheid.

The focus now became broad based

implementation. The idea was to create

a scorecard with various elements.

Compliance with each element would

earn you a score depending on whether

you achieve certain targets. Your total

score would then earn you a rating -

Level 1, 2, 3, 4 - 9 or non compliant. You

have to be officially audited for this

process by a verification agency.

Over the years targets and frameworks

have changed but the basic idea

remains. In addition to that there are

thresholds that determine the

stringency of compliance. Now, if you

have turnover of less than R10million

per annum you are automatically

deemed to be a Level 4 BEE compliant

entity - you are considered an

Exempted Micro Enterprise.

B U I L D I D E A S | 1 8

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