16 March 2018

South Africa: President Cyril Ramaphosa and Deputy President David Mabuza Attend Black Economic Empowerment Advisory Council

press release

President Ramaphosa and Deputy President Mabuza host Black Economic Empowerment Advisory Council

President Cyril Ramaphosa and Deputy President David Mabuza attended their first meeting of the Black Economic Empowerment Advisory Council (BEEAC) in Pretoria today, Friday 16 March 2018.

The Council, which is chaired by the President, with the Minister of Trade and Industry as head of the secretariat, advises government on economic empowerment, and is focused on ensuring effective implementation of the Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment Act (B-BBEEA), in terms of which the Council itself has been established.

The Council holds four meetings a year in line with the provisions of this Act.

The Act defines broad-based black economic empowerment as the viable economic empowerment of all black people - in particular women, workers, youth, people with disabilities and people living in rural areas - through diverse but integrated socio-economic strategies.

These strategies include, but are not limited to: increasing the number of black people that manage, own and control enterprises and productive assets; preferential procurement from enterprises that are owned and managed by black people, and achieving equitable representation in all occupational categories and levels in the workplace.

In today's meeting, the President and Deputy President received presentations on current programmes of the Council and challenges it has identified in the implementation of the B-BBEE Act.

The Council's current programmes address alignment between the B-BBEE Act and the Preferential Procurement Policy Framework Act; radical economic transformation, B-BBEE codes, sector charters and equity equivalents; the Black Industrialists Programme, and revitalisation of the township economy.

The Council observed significant weakness in the implementation of the Act, including the absence of adequate provincial strategies on implementation of the Act, as well as the absence of the Act from the scope of assurance providers such as the Auditor-General, internal audit in government departments and entities, and chief risk officers.

Following meetings between the Council and Premiers, most provinces are now setting up provincial B-BBEE advisory councils, while members of the national Council have been assigned to work with individual provinces to advance this work.

Inclusion of broad-based black economic empowerment compliance in the scope of the Auditor-General is currently under discussion.

On the Black Industrialists programme, the Council reported that to date, 83 black industrialist projects have been funded by the Department of Trade and Industry with a total investment of R8.3 billion. This has created over 13,000 direct jobs and 18,000 indirect jobs.

President Ramaphosa expressed government's appreciation to the Council for its "admirable work in advancing the frontiers of broad-based black economic empowerment".

"The existence of the Council gives credence to the relevance of broad-based black economic empowerment as an imperative, not a choice, for us as South Africans," President Ramaphosa said.

Issued by: The Presidency

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