To BBBEE or Not…
A look at the latest BBBEE legislation and how companies can understand the complexities around this, and comply in a way which works for their business was the discussion for the Australian Business Chamber of Southern Africa (ABCSA) event of October 9th.
Dionne Kerr, CEO of Siyakha, was the guest speaker at the auditorium of the attorneys Hogan Lovells in Sandton where the event was held. The sponsor of the event, Intercontinental Trust is licensed by the Mauritius Financial Services Commission to provide a comprehensive range of financial and fiduciary services to international businesses.
The Economic Empowerment policy of the South African government has the noble intention of addressing the huge economic disparity that exists in the country. Initially the policy targeted ownership in the hope that the ‘top down’ approach would lead to a greater sharing in the economy by South Africans that were previously discriminated against.
A plethora of agencies, consultancies and facilitators sprung up around the country hoping to take advantage of the opportunity of charging a fee in lieu of certifying empowerment credentials and this has led to some confusion, especially among businesses seeking investment opportunities in South Africa.
As companies consider the incentives and motivation for investment in South Africa many seem ready to comply, especially with regard to skills, knowledge and technology transfer. They are, however, still unsure of a legislation that seems more bureaucratic and that does not guarantee them any business activity while they incur costs to become compliant. Monies could be better allocated to actual business or human resource development, it is felt.
In the World Bank's "Doing Business Survey 2014" report, Mauritius ranks first as the country with the most favourable business reputation in the African region and scores 20th place in the Ease of Doing Business Index out of 189 countries surveyed.
South Africa’s rank in The Global Competitiveness Report 2014-2015, is 56th down 4 places from 52nd in 2012.
The ABCSA, which was launched in February, has steadily been growing its footprint, stewarded by Michael Templeton, the inaugural chair. A series of events pertinent to its membership and their business interests have already been presented. The advocacy council has proved apt in delivering timeous and relevant guest speakers and seminars with regard to creating greater awareness of the business environment in Southern Africa. The ABCSA has planned many upcoming events that promise to connect its members to the rhythm and pulse that is Africa.
For more information on membership and events follow www.abcsafrica.org