Western Cape Business News

Send  Share  RSS  Twitter  11 Aug 2009

EMPOWERMENT: Services Seta Focuses On Transformation


Recent Western Cape Business News

Services SETA’s transformation committee is to compel companies to take-up skills development in order to advance BBBEE objectives

The governors of the Services Seta have taken a bold move to make Broad Based Black Economic Empowerment (BBBEE) holistic by establishing a BBBEE focused Transformation Committee. This committee was established with the objective of pushing for BBBEE compliance beyond ownership and management to ensure that human resources and skills development become a priority. Starting the 1st of October 2009, BBBEE non-compliant companies in the Services Seta will no longer qualify for a discretionary grant. Between now and that time however, organisations are encouraged to take it upon themselves to ensure that they are in fact BBBEE compliant. This will entitle them to a 50% discretionary grant from the Services Seta as well as a host of other benefits that are associated with BBBEE compliance. Companies that are non-compliant after this date will lose these benefits.

Other duties of the committee include promoting capacity building, governance, monitoring and evaluation, and communication as well as act as an advisory body. Through BBBEE, this committee seeks to provide access to productive resources and skills for previously disadvantaged groups in South Africa. The aim is to speed up the significant participation of such groups in the economy.

Ivor Blumenthal, CEO of the Services SETA, notes that “the Services SETA can play an important role in helping its members to make their mark in achieving real transformation in South Africa by becoming more aware of BBBEE and implementing it in their businesses. Apart from establishing the committee, the Services SETA has also created a platform for new and existing businesses in the services sector, so that they can access tools to grow and sustain themselves while getting to understand what BBBEE is all about”. He explains that “for example, the Services SETA offers a short course on the black economic empowerment (BEE) scorecard which has changed quite with the implementation of BBBEE.”

Through its recent policy directives, the Services SETA is sending a clear message that BBBEE compliance will make a real difference to its members’ ability to do business in this sector. It has been recommended that a policy directive be developed to the effect that discretionary grants should only be allowed where employers have indicated and evidenced participation in the BBBEE scorecard and verification process. Those employers, with a turnover above R5 million, and can produce a BEE verification certificate, will be awarded a discretionary grant of R5 000.

Achieving real transformation in South Africa can only have positive ripple effects for the country at large. This can however only be achieved if all the relevant stakeholders take ownership and get involved.

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