Broad-based Black Economic Empowerment (B-BBEE) should be considered an important strategic business initiative although it is political and socio-economic at the core. Increasingly customers particularly corporate's are forcing the BEE issue onto their suppliers to enhance their own scores. Part of the motivation behind this is that they then obtain rating points in respect of their own BEE status.

New Codes were gazetted in May 2017 for implimentation over a 12 month transition period. Fundamental changes will in many cases see at least a 1-2 levels drop if no new measures are implemented!!!

The Department of Trade & Industry has established an official B-BBEE registry to advance broad based black economic empowerment. Each B-BBEE profile contains a Unique Reference Number which validates the registration.

Why obtain a DTI B-BBEE profile?It will be of benefit as the Profile provides credible B-BBEE information with integrity to your clients and trade partners. Irrespective of your B-BBEE status, obtaining a Profile will market your entity for potentially increased procurement opportunities using an Opportunities Network to source suppliers or trade partners. 

What is the Opportunities Network?The Opportunities Network is an online search engine that entities can access freely to find suppliers or trade partners. The opportunities Network can be searched based on company name, trade details, and the type of services provided. 

What if I already have a B-BBEE certificate?If you have a B-BBEE certificate, the process of obtaining a DTI B-BBEE Profile, and therefore benefiting from the opportunities associated therewith, is drastically simplified. In addition to the opportunities that your entity is exposed to, the DTI validate the authenticity of your certificate with the issuer, and issue you with a branded Profile with a Unique Reference Number. The Profile can be validated by clients or trade partners using the Unique Reference Number, and this prevents the passing of fraudulent information. 

What if I am a small business with no B-BBEE credentials?If your annual turnover is below R10 million (subject to industry specific charters), your business is classified as an Exempt Micro Enterprise (EME). This qualifies your entity to participate fully in B-BBEE opportunities without having to transform your entity like the larger businesses are required to. In order to qualify, you need only register and they will facilitate a simple process of validating your turnover level, and then offer you the option to list on the Opportunities Network, and obtain a B-BBEE Profile. Remember that South African businesses are incentivised to procure services from EMEs. 

What if my company is not B-BBEE compliant?Irrespective of your size or B-BBEE status, there are benefits to your entity of obtaining a B-BBEE Profile. By participating, you may be presented with business-building opportunities associated with B-BBEE. Transformation is not an overnight process.

Why the Department of Trade & Industry?The DTI wishes to broaden B-BBEE participation as a catalyst to economic growth and development. To simplify this process and to minimize the investment to participate in this important growth initiative, the DTI has released the B-BBEE Portal. This valuable tool is a centralized and standardized resource that will build business through B-BBEE education, B-BBEE compliance facilitation, and the creation of a network for tangible, and accessible B-BBEE business opportunities, for participating entities.

B-BBEE DatabaseThe B-BBEE registry is the only officially endorsed DTI B-BBEE website and database.

Acknowledgements: Investec Bank & the DTI