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Send  Share  RSS  Twitter  30 Sep 2010

EMPOWERMENT: Call For Protection


Recent Western Cape Business News

The Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment Scorecard is the only way through which to measure a BEE score; sadly government departments mostly only concentrate on ownership as a measure of a tendering company’s empowerment level.  Ironically, this acts in contradiction to its own BEE policies.  In the absence of a BEE ombudsman, EconoBEE has turned to the Public Protector to action a change in the erroneous and narrow-based processes of government tender adjudication.

The act states that all government entities must take into account B-BBEE status in awarding tenders, issuing licenses, concessions and all other contracts. Most government departments and entities have steadfastly refused to follow this law when issuing tenders or licenses, especially mining licenses. The act is clear: Section 10 of the B-BBEE Act states that government entities “..must take into account, and as far as is reasonably possible, apply any relevant code of good practice”.  This clearly implies that every tender and license form should also ask for the B-BBEE certificate of the applicant.

Keith Levenstein, CEO of leading BEE Consultancy, EconoBEE hopes that soon the broad-based criteria of the policy will be used by government in assessing tenders and licenses.  “Government is bound by the PPPFA (Preferential Procurement Framework Act) which governs how tenders are evaluated and awarded. Traditionally the PPPFA has been recognised in tender adjudication; but it is yet to be aligned to the B-BBEE Act as has been promised for the past 6 years. Government does not even follow narrow-based black economic empowerment, an outdated concept as defined in the codes,” says Levenstein.

It is for this exact reason that EconoBEE submitted a complaint to the Public Protector in order to accumulate authoritative action towards the complete eradication of “tenderpreneurs”, awarding of licenses based on unfair practices and fronting; in favour of true black economic empowerment.

The well-balanced B-BBEE policy and its related scorecard can only redress empowerment inequality through its proper implementation by private and public sectors alike,” says Levenstein.  

EconoBEE submitted a second complaint to this legislative oversight body regarding the fact that major government bodies have failed to adhere to the clause in the B BBEE Codes of Good Practice that states that public enterprises and specifies government entities must produce their own B-BBEE scorecard.  Whilst some like City Power, ESKOM, SAA, Telkom and SABC are a leading example; there is still a substantial list of non-compliant entities which includes SANAS (the very authority that accredits B-BBEE verification agencies), the BEE Council, CIPRO and National Empowerment Fund among many others.  

Levenstein encapsulates their request to the Public Protector; “We have simply asked the Public Protector to insist that these organizations follow the good example set by tens of thousands of private enterprise organisations and produce their own valid B-BBEE certificate, as required by section 3 of the Codes.”

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