Changes to the BEE Codes of Good Conduct and how these will affect your business
LFP Training’s Sales Manager, AJ Jordaan recently spoke to the media about the proposed changes to the BEE Codes of Good Conduct which should come into effect around October this year. No stranger to changes, the proposed amendments by the DTI are now open to public opinion and will once again alter the way in which your business operates in the local economy.
AJ highlights the changes and what to expect:
- 51% black-owned businesses are now automatically exempted from verifications and will receive an ownership certificate instead. This remains a key element on the BEE scorecard with the amendments looking to simplify businesses with ownership BEE strategies. To note, these affidavits can only be issued by CIPC.
- The Skills Development target, which is still at 6%, is now to be allocated as 3.5% spend on black people and 2.5% on black students in higher education. In the past, the Skills Development Element was focused on learnerships, internships and apprenticeships; what we now find is an equal focus on higher education and this will ensure that all levels of education enjoy priority and potential opportunities for all individual.
- The Skills Development spend on black students includes bursaries at higher education institutions as a new indicator. This positive initiative will prove beneficial in the long run because of the increased immediate opportunities it creates for students to complete a higher education qualification.
- Implementation of the YES initiative to create job opportunities and alleviate unemployment in the youth sector. The youth sector is our country’s most promising sector which is currently in crisis with 67.4% (2017) unemployment in the under 25 age bracket. The President, like most, is passionate about youth empowerment and we believe that this initiative is a positive thing because of the incentive for companies enhancing their BEE level by reaching their YES targets and simultaneously address the poor employment rate for the youth. A higher BEE level holds a lot of benefits for companies (i.e. a higher recognition level) and it may unlock potential business previously not obtainable because of a non-sufficient BEE level.
- To clearly define the required Skills Development spend, the code changes clearly specifies that black student bursaries cannot be counted as spend on black people. The divide in spend is in fact separate to ensure that both the youth and greater society benefits from the policies.
- Employed and unemployed learners – It is made very clear in the amended codes that expenditure for these two entities is separate from each other, where this may have been unclear previously.
- In addition, there is enhanced recognition for businesses who successfully implement new YES initiatives. To ensure the uptake and success of YES initiatives, businesses are being incentivised for implementing such policies in the workplace. By meeting YES targets coupled with 2.5% absorption, businesses automatically move one level up. Businesses can move up by 2 levels for meeting 100% YES targets and 5% absorption. This initiative creates opportunities for entities that comply with the BEE codes to reach higher levels of compliance. It also ensures that all individuals and all levels of education are focused on.