April 2015 was the final deadline for implementing the recently revised B-BBEE codes of good practice. These codes reduce the number of B-BBEE scorecard components from seven to five: ownership, management control, skills development, enterprise & supplier development, and socioeconomic development. They also set minimum thresholds for each of these components, which firms have to meet in order to sustain their ratings. Failure to meet these minimum thresholds results in the lowering of a company’s empowerment status by at least a level, with level-one representing the highest achievable status.
Announcing the April 2015 deadline, Trade and Industry Minister Dr Rob Davies made the following insightful comments:
“The findings show that the economy is embracing B-BBEE policy, and its objectives. However, 33% of surveyed large enterprises had zero black ownership and only 9% of enterprises had more than 90% black ownership. This reflects poorly on the level of penetration of black ownership within large enterprises. Therefore, the implementation of B-BBEE in all sectors of the economy is still critical to the overall economic and social development of South Africa. No economy can grow by excluding any part of its people, and an economy that is not growing cannot integrate all of its citizens in a meaningful way. As such, this strategy stresses a BEE process that is associated with growth, socioeconomic development and enterprise development, and not merely the redistribution of existing wealth.”
Beryl Holdings affirms the need for a BEE practice founded on growth, socioeconomic and enterprise development, and strives to embody such a practice. Their level-two B-BBEE status attests to the progress made in this regard.
Obtaining level-two certification is a highly competitive process, with a B-BBEE scorecard of between 85 and 100 points required. South Africa’s leading BEE directory, BEE123, lists only 453 companies nation-wide with level-one status (upwards of 100 points), and only about 586 with level-two status. Conversely, there are almost 3000 companies with level-three status (75 to 85 points) listed.