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Beyond the Boardroom Gain Insight into 'YES'


Amended General B-BBEE Codes of Good Practice

Youth Employment Service

Beyond the Boardroom Gain Insight into 'YES'

This is the fourth in a series of ‘Beyond the Boardroom’ articles addressing all aspects of the Codes. In this article, BEE123 introduces the recently launched YES123 Programme.

In the ‘Beyond the Boardroom’ series, the members of the BEE123 Advisory Team share unique insights as to what

drives successful transformation. The BEE123 Advisory Team represents a unique set of skills with its collective

expertise gained first-hand from a corporate, verification and consulting perspective. The BEE123 Advisory Team, led

by Managing Director Saul Symanowitz, is made up of Micah Gengan, Rene Van Der Walt, Yonela Ntsaluba, Bhavna

Maharaj, Tando Dubeni, Nokulunga Sithebe and Denvor Phokaners.

BEE 1 | It’s an Epidemic

As Youth month passed through the calendar and we enter the third

quarter of 2019, the Government has to make bold decisions to

tackle unemployment, especially in terms of Youth unemployment, in

significant numbers. Today, most indexes rating unemployment place

South Africa firmly at the top of the list. The Spectator Index places

South Africa comfortably in first place with 27% unemployment. The

reality is that unemployment is the greatest challenge facing South

Africa today. In fact, South Africa’s unemployment rate has been

consistently measured above 20%.

Unemployment is a national crisis that feeds two of the country’s

other significant socio-economic challenges: poverty and inequality.

Ultimately, South Africa’s unemployment challenges reflect that

the demand for labour has not adapted to the relative abundance

of unskilled labour. Vimal Ranchhod, a professor of economics at

the University of Cape Town’s School of Economics and the acting

director of the Southern Africa Labour and Development Research

Unit, highlights three burning issues. “Firstly, South Africa has several

industries with only a few players who dominate the market. Such

dominance can lead to a lack of competition, stifled innovation, and

present barriers to entry for new, small businesses, which has an

impact on job creation.

Secondly, for historical reasons again, we have a low-trust society.

Such mistrust manifests in excessive bureaucracy and labour disputes

that are costly to both workers and organisations. The effect of this

is that employers can become highly risk-averse when considering

applicants with little work experience or lower levels of qualifications.

Again, the net result is the reduction of employment below its


Thirdly, investors are wary of risks that might affect their return on

investments. Such trends include threats to property rights, social and

political instability, and perceived levels of corruption.

If people are not willing to invest in a country, it is almost impossible to

generate new jobs.”

Currently, there are no clear or immediate solutions to the

unemployment epidemic1

. Reality is that expanded unemployment

is 9.9 million people. Between the first quarter of 2009 and the first

quarter of 2019, 3.6 million people joined the unemployment queue

– an average of just less than 1,000 people a day over a decade. Put

another way, only about 43% of South African adults work. In most

developing countries, the figure is 60% or more. The stats for Youth

unemployment supersede this.

The scale of the challenge is difficult to comprehend but vital. Think

of it this way: of South Africa’s nine provinces, only Gauteng and

KwaZulu-Natal are home to more than 9.9 million people. The total

working-age population in the Northern, Eastern and Western Cape

combined is 9.7 million. To halve unemployment, South Africa would

require 11 times the number of jobs that currently exist.

Another factor to take into account is that between 2008 and 2019

the Youth population increased by more than 2 million, yet the number

of young people who had jobs fell by almost 500 0002


BEE 2 | Oh Yes

Introduced in 2018, the Yes 4 Youth (Yes) initiative was not by any

means meant to be the silver bullet to solve the unemployment

epidemic facing South Africa today. However, it is a move in the

right direction. This unique collaboration between business and

Government focuses on one country, one movement and one clear

focus - driving Youth employment, whilst cleverly linking into the

B-BBEE Scorecard Over the past year, the Yes initiative has created

more than 18,000 12-month work experiences, which indicates that

this initiative has the legs to make a dent in the dire unemployment


Yes is a not-for-profit organisation that is a business-driven initiative, breaking new

ground by pioneering a partnership between Government, business and labour,

in collectively tackling a national plan to build economic pathways for the ‘Black’

Youth. Given the scale and implications of South Africa’s Youth unemployment

situation, the country cannot afford to fail.

Yes has become a critical tool for organisations to move up one or two levels on

their B-BBEE Scorecard while investing in building the employability of the Youth.

BEE123 has embraced the initiative as a mechanism for change and the difference

it can make to the career path of a Yes Employee.

BEE 3 | BEE123 drives YES123

The objective of the YES123 Programme is to provide opportunities and support

with the facilitation, administration and management of an organisation’s Yes

Programme. The YES123 support mechanism affords organisations a customised

and holistic turnkey solution that incorporates :

BEE 4 | Programme Design

From the outset, BEE123 will assist organisations with designing a customised

Yes Programme. Following engagement sessions to understand specific objectives

and requirements, YES123 will craft a bespoke Yes Programme that is strategically

aligned with an organisation’s overall business strategy.

The YES123 approach ensures a value-adding outcome to both the organisation

and the Yes Employee

BEE 5 | Recruitment

Having the right Yes Employee is a critical factor for the success of the YES123

Programme. Therefore, recruiting a suitable Yes Employee is a vital first step in the


The YES123 Programme provides an end-to-end recruitment solution, including

a range of assessments, screening, eligibility determination, suitability vetting,

aptitude and skill set evaluations, as well as considerations to geographic proximity

to host and more.

Following the selection process, the best matched Yes Candidates would be

presented for personal engagements and ultimate selection.

BEE 6 | Yes Hosting Facilitation

Some organisations do not have the internal capacity to host a Yes Employee.

However, the YES123 Programme allows organisations to sponsor a Yes Employee

to another organisation.

With a full understanding of the labour rights of a Yes Employee and the requirement to offer

quality work experience, the YES123 Programme will align a Yes Employee to a sponsored


BEE 7 | Training

Adequate and appropriate training of a Yes Employee is paramount to the ultimate success

of an organisation’s Yes Programme. It is imperative that a Yes Employee has the skills and

confidence to deliver on their mandate to optimise their host organisation’s B-BBEE Scorecard.

The YES123 Programme is designed to provide a Yes Employee with a set of skills and

readiness to meaningfully drive an organisation’s B-BBEE Strategy. Besides being an investment

in a Yes Employee, The YES123 Programme will boost the Skills Development element of an

organisation’s scorecard.

BEE 8 | Oversight and Feedback

Over the 12-month contract period of a Yes Employee, the YES123 Programme provides

engagement and monitoring. Mechanisms are in place for feedback to be consistently

channelled to the host organisation, so that they can track the progress of their Yes Employee at

all times.

BEE 9 | Administration and Payroll Management

The YES123 Programme removes the administrative burden on organisations. Processes are

in place to seamlessly administer Yes registration assistance, payroll administration, document

management and the compilation of a file of evidence necessary for a B-BBEE verification.

BEE 10 | Target

Yes Eligibility - The pre-requisite requirements to participate in Yes are based on organisations

achieving 40% Sub-minimum requirements for each Priority Element or attaining a 50% average

across all three Priority Elements. In addition, to qualify for points and a scorecard boost, an

organisation must maintain or improve their previous year’s Status Level. Failing this, special

dispensation can be applied for through the DTI.

Yes Targets - There are three formulas to determine the number of Yes Employees required by

organisations to meet their Yes obligations. Target are determined by the largest outcome of all

three formulas outlined in the table below

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