Pretoria: Broad-Based Black Economy Empowerment (B-BBEE) will continue to be regarded as an imperative in South Africa, says Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies. Addressing the New Age Business Briefing in Sandton on Monday, Davies said B-BBEE was an imperative from the point of view of equity and had a political dimension.
“We cannot have an economy in which the people are allowed to vote in the political level but are not able to benefit from involvement in the economy,” he said. South Africa could not run an effective economy when it drew its leadership at all levels and entrepreneurial capacity from a very small minority of the population, Davies pointed out.
“It is an imperative that we draw leadership, we draw our entrepreneurs, much more broadly, across the totality of our population,” he added. Government was attempting to bring about modifications, refinements and amendments to the BEE framework through the revised B-BBEE Codes of Good Practice and B-BBEE Amendment Bill.
The Codes and the Bill were intended to try to provide a more effective tool to support and encourage empowerment in the productive sense of the word, among black people participating in the economy as leaders and players in established companies but also by way of leadership of companies which were entrepreneurial in nature, he said.
Davies added that government was trying to align BEE with the overall objectives of ensuring the emergence of more active players in the real economic; more active entrepreneurship, which meant developing of skills and capacities, and more relationships of a symbiotic nature between large and small companies.
The intention was to turn BEE from essentially supporting passive shareholding into something that supports a more active and productive empowerment of black people across the economy, he said.