Business & Economy

Monday, 12 October 2009 20:56


{pp}The 3rd Annual BEE Conference on Tuesday the 6th October saw the realisation of two major initiatives that promise to have far reaching positive effects on the entire BEE landscape in both the immediate and long-term. These were the launch of both the Annual BEE Awards and the BEE Institute.

Keyed up by the greater sense of optimism and urgency infusing the economy, BEE Transformation Managers attending the Conference expressed their approval for groundwork being laid to professionalise BEE practitioners and recognise BEE achievements at every level in business and the public sector.

Prof. Mervyn King was the keynote speaker at the conference. He had this to say about the issue of Sustainable BEE and corporate governance. “Company directors today must realise that government, strategy and sustainability have become inseparable. And tied in with that, BEE offers exactly the kind of strategy framework that can create unparalleled growth for South Africa....if it is done correctly.”

"Whether you are a BEE director or any other director, sustainability is a critical issue for governance and strategy that needs to be included in one's long-term strategic thinking," says King. "The fact that these three elements have become inseparable is a cornerstone of the King III report." Announcing the launch of the BEE Institute at the Awards ceremony CEO Leila Moonda emphasised that the need for a rigorous qualification process is becoming widely felt and acknowledged. “The BEE Institute is currently in discussion with a number of Higher Education Institutions to offer BEE qualifications” Moonda said. “We aim to turn BEE into a profession and one day soon you will be able to do a Doctorate in BEE.”

Moonda explained that the concept of Sustainable BEE was pioneered by the BEE Institute and is set to make a significant impact in the way BEE is implemented. “The BEE Institute is a professional membership-based body that provides valuable support and training to businesses and practitioners that have adopted the BEE Scorecard and wish to implement Sustainable BEE” Moonda said. “The BEE Institute aims to turn BEE Practioners into BEE Professionals, by providing knowledge, best practice guidelines and access to experts to allow BEE Practioners to effectively and efficiently implement Sustainable BEE. In addition we will soon have a unique BEE Management Information System available for organisations to use that integrates into their existing databases and is aligned to the concept of Sustainable BEE.

“Sustainable BEE is a trademarked Black Economic Empowerment philosophy”, according to Andrew Bizzell, the chairman of both the BEESA Group and the National Association of BEE Consultants (NABC), “which allows a company to align its BEE actions to its business objectives and therefore maximise return on investment. It includes best practice training, a workable BEE management structure and the required software systems. Sustainable BEE provides the guidelines on achieving maximum return on investment from all areas of activity associated with the BEE Scorecard.”

"From a sustainability point of view," says Bizzell, "we can sustain a small economy, but we can't sustain a growth in the economy because we don't have the infrastructure to support that growth. The plan that BEE introduces, is an economic growth tool. It is how we are going to grow the economy from 7-milliion people participating in the money flow, through to 30-million people. "If we understand what the BEE framework is about, we will understand that socio-economic development is developing the entry-level skills to satisfy the needs of the market, and enterprise development is creating the jobs to absorb those skills that are being developed at the entry level."

He says that once the skills and the jobs, that are going help grow the economy and the number of people participating in it, have been created, and once they have been absorbed into a company, skills development, employment equity, and management control - three of the elements on the BEE scorecard - will drive people through the organisation and out possibly into their own businesses into eventual ownership. "So it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy that once you get this going, and people understand it, it will result in the kind of economic growth that most countries have never seen before," says Bizzell.

Also speaking at the BEE Institute launch and Awards Dinner was co-founder of the Annual BEE Awards Jan Munnik, MD of EES-SIYAKHA. Munnik spoke of the ground breaking work done in identifying and celebrating excellence in the implementation of BEE programmes and strategies. “We have grouped the awards into two separate areas, one for the different elements of the BEE scorecard and one for the different elements of Sustainable BEE” Munnik said.”For the scorecard elements there are awards for Employment Equity, Skills Development, Preferential Procurement, Enterprise Development and Socio-Economic development. The awards aim to recognise best practice in these areas”. The 2009 inaugural winners were;

  • Metropolitan Group - Employment Equity,
  • Fluor - Skills Development,
  • Arivia.Kom -Preferential Procurement,
  • Super Group -Enterprise Development, and
  • OUTsurance -Socio-Economic Development.

Case studies of these award winning BEE programmes were show-cased to delegates attending the 3rd Annual BEE Conference. “In the Sustainable BEE Awards area there are three categories namely the Sustainability and Governance, Human Capital Value Chain and Product Value Chain awards” Bizzell said. “Sustainable BEE is a new concept that requires organisations to adopt a holistic approach to BEE and integrate various elements of BEE together; as such we have been unable to award organisations in these areas as no organisation has as yet met all the requirements.

We are however, anticipating being able to recognise organisations in these areas next year as the implementation of Sustainable BEE is rolled out”. Bizzell explained that the Human Capital Value Chain required that the areas of Employment Equity, Skills Development and Socio-Economic Development, as it relates to these two areas, be integrated and approached holistically; while the Product Value Chain category requires the same approach to Enterprise Development, Preferential procurement and Socio Economic Development.

Issued by:
BEE Institute,

Leila Moonda
CEO: BEE Institute
011 726 3052
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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