“Companies need to harness technology to really understand the impact of, and embrace the more stringent refined B-BBEE codes.” So says Bruce Rowe, head of BEE software solutions provider Mpowered, following the release of the new B-BBEE Codes of Good Practice at the BEE Summit held in Johannesburg from 3 to 4 October.
The new codes, announced on Thursday by Nomonde Mesatywa, director of B-BBEE at the Department of Trade and Industry, require companies to achieve a minimum threshold of at least 40% for black ownership, skills development and supplier and economic development in order to obtain any recognition on these “priority” scorecard elements. The overall compliance thresholds have also increased significantly, adversely impacting a company’s current B-BBEE compliance levels.
“This means that many companies that fail to quickly understand and adapt to the new requirements will automatically fall at least one rating level, which in many cases could impact their profitability,” explains Rowe, who offers software-based B-BBEE management tools to some of South Africa’s largest corporates and state-owned enterprises.
Rowe says companies can tap into a wealth of collective knowledge using technological solutions. “Our Beetoolkit simplifies and automates many aspects of the BEE compliance process and enables companies to tap into the collective knowledge and insight of industry experts as well as the input of rating agencies such as Empowerdex and Empowerlogic, with whom we have strong alliances.”
“For companies wishing to uphold their BEE compliance levels they worked hard for and earned over the past six years, technology can enable them to seamlessly transition their compliance based on the refined codes with little to no detrimental effect to their compliance – or their business.” Rowe also cautions companies seeking to use spreadsheet based “systems”, and encourages a move to more robust and proven IT software solutions.