28 January 2014

South Africa: BEE Certificates - Fake It Till You Make It


On Monday the latest report emerged of a South African company having faked its empowerment credentials. In this case the story was stranger than normal: the business in question is owned by the wife of a serving member of the Presidential Advisory Committee on BEE.

It also happens to be 100% black female-owned, meaning it would have soared through authentic BEE compliance. Experts say up to 5% of all BEE certificates are invalid.

It was the French philosopher Baudrillard who argued that modern human experience is merely a simulation of reality. In South Africa we may be getting a pretty good grasp of that concept. Consider, if you will, the litany of fraudulence and fakery to which we've been exposed over little more than a month.

We've seen a fake sign language interpreter shame us in front of the world. We've seen a fake destitute person accept a free house from the EFF. We've had a North West Premier with a fake CV. We've seen Johannesburg motorists buy fake number plates to avoid paying e-tolls.

Life in South Africa, or a reasonable facsimile thereof. But you can't always have your fake and eat it. Ikhono Communications has...

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