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    Xoliswa Zakwe | 12 May 2024 The Youth Employment Services (Yes) initiative which is recognised for its innovative approach to tackling unemployment, empowers the township's youth through innovative training programmes. Youth Employment Services (Yes) stands as a beacon of hope for the youth of Alexandra. This is through its wide range of programmes offered at the Alexandra Netcare Ulusha Hub. The programmes are designed to arm the youth with the skills needed to thrive in the modern economy. According to the hub manager Tholi Cenenda, Yes is not a training institution but provides employment opportunities that include training elements for the youth, and post-training the youth are placed in a Quality Work Experience Programme at various host sites in the sector. Currently, Cenenda said the hub was running three programmes such as drone, solar installation and maintenance and community courses that include entrepreneurship, digital skills and financial wellness. “We are currently running the drone programme funded by the Industrial Development Corporation and the certification that the youth will receive in the end is endorsed by the Civil Aviation Authority. We take 25 people to participate in the programme for three months after which the youth obtain remote pilot licences. “We have a solar maintenance programme where we teach the youth how to install and maintain solar panels. The reason we are doing solar is that we are trying to make sure that as South Africa transitions, the youth is not left behind, they have the necessary skills to get jobs in this sector,” Cenenda said. She added that they are currently training 40 youths for the programme and when they finish the two months of training they will be placed at different companies for 12 months of practical experience. “We also have a programme called Young Content Creators who create content for Small, Medium and Micro Enterprises (SMMEs) and get paid daily. We are training them to grow the tourism industry and it’s one of our big initiatives with Sanlam.” She added the youth do get paid while they do their training. “The reason we are paying them is to enable them to cover daily transport costs to the training.” According to Cenenda, Yes is to introduce two other programmes, the SMME development programme and the culinary and digital skills programme. “The SMME development programme will have 11 local youth business owners who will be trained to grow their businesses and this will start sometime in May. “Culinary will be a pop-up training to be held outside the hub but within the Alex community. We are still looking for centres that we will use for the training and this programme will start around June or July, depending on how quickly we will find partners.” ‘Disclaimer - The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the BEE CHAMBER’.


    Western Cape Government | 9 May 2024 The Department of Local Government, in collaboration with the Department of Cooperative Governance (DCoG) , Western Cape South African Local Government and Association (SALGA) ,and the  Western Cape Local Government Sector Education and Training Authority (LGSETA), is hosting a series of skills development workshops designed to enhance municipal capacities across the province. Scheduled for May 9th and 10th, 2024, these workshops mark a significant stride toward strengthening local government institutions and nurturing professional advancement within municipalities. Delving into crucial aspects delineated in Chapter 5 of the recently promulgated Municipal Staff Regulations, topics will encompass integrated development planning, skills audits, and capacity-building initiatives. Complementing these workshops is the rollout of the Enhanced Gapskill System, a digital platform aimed at facilitating skills analysis and competency mapping within municipalities. Initially piloted in select municipalities such as the City of Cape Town Metro, West Coast District, and Laingsburg Municipality, this innovative tool represents a substantial leap toward data-driven decision-making and talent management. "Certainly, by the end of this workshop, our aim is for municipalities to be significantly better equipped to institutionalize Skills Development, fostering programs that directly impact service delivery, all for the betterment of our Western Cape citizens," emphasized Deputy Director Training and Coordination, Ms. Zanele Mtyoko. The workshop's first day was a success.  Presenters and participants alike enjoyed exchanging ideas and engaging in conversation. They explored a variety of topics, with each individual contributing valuable insights. It was a fantastic start, and everyone is eagerly anticipating what the rest of the workshop has in store. ‘Disclaimer - The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the BEE CHAMBER’.


    SA News : 9 May 2024 The Marketing, Advertising, and Communications (MAC) Sector Council, in collaboration with eQvest Limited, has announced the Media, Advertising, and Communications Charter (MACC) Fund. The MACC Fund is positioned as a transformative instrument within South Africa’s creative and cultural industries, particularly the film and television sector. The council and eQvest made the announcement during a media briefing at The Syrene Hotel in Sandton, Johannesburg, on Wednesday. Council members, together with eQvest executives, highlighted the fund’s role in fostering social impact and its compliance with Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (B-BBEE) standards in the MAC sector. According to the team, the MACC Fund represents a significant step forward in catalysing growth and transformation within the media, advertising and communications industry. By fostering diversity and inclusivity, the fund seeks to create a more equitable playing field, empowering underrepresented voices and promoting innovation. Chairperson of the MAC Sector Council, Angelo Tandy, hailed the collaboration with eQvest as a significant milestone in their endeavour to foster meaningful progress in the industry. “The MACC Fund represents a powerful tool for advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion, and we are excited to see the impact it will have on the sector,” Tandy explained. Hosted on the eQvest funding platform, the fund represents a pioneering initiative to bridge the gap between promising private companies and potential investors, driving economic empowerment and fostering diversity within the media landscape. eQvest CEO, Nathaniel Bricknell, said his company was thrilled to collaborate with the MAC Sector Council in launching the fund. “This initiative underscores our shared commitment to driving positive change and fostering innovation within the media, advertising, and communications industry. Together, we will work towards a more inclusive and equitable future,” Bricknell added. By leveraging a unique private-public partnership model, the initiative aims to boost investment into areas critical for national development. It also includes social cohesion, nation-building and poverty alleviation, above-the-line media, outdoor media buying, equipment purchasing, as well as infrastructure development. The partnership recognised that the local industry falls short of global counterparts such as Hollywood, Bollywood and Nollywood in terms of production volume and market share. This shortfall is often due to insufficient private sector investment and the underuse of available incentives, including tax allowances for film investors. The MACC Fund was created as a critical response to these challenges, providing focused investment and support to promote equitable growth, bolster sectoral capabilities, and guarantee a unified strategy for transforming the landscape of these industries. The MAC Sector Council is a leading authority in the media, advertising, and communications industry, dedicated to promoting diversity, equity, and innovation. Comprised of industry leaders and experts, the council works collaboratively to address key challenges and opportunities facing the sector. The council is responsible for, among other things, overseeing the implementation and monitoring compliance with the council’s code. It also guides on matters relating to BEE in the MAC sector and develops baseline indicators for all different elements of the B-BBEE. The eQvest is a pioneering investment platform committed to driving positive change and fostering innovation in the private equity space. With a focus on sustainability and social impact, eQvest connects investors with high-potential investment opportunities, driving growth and transformation across various sectors. For more information on the fund visit ‘Disclaimer - The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the BEE CHAMBER’.


    Linda Ensor | 9 May 2024 The DA and FF+ opposed the adoption of the bill by the select committee, while the ANC and EFF supported it. In a race against time, the National Council of Provinces’ (NCOP) select committee on finance has adopted with amendments the Public Procurement Bill with the aim of it being accepted by parliament before the final end of business of the National Assembly on May 16. All provinces, with the exception of the Western Cape, support the bill, which will be voted on by the NCOP on Thursday. The National Assembly’s standing committee on finance will consider the amendments on Friday and the National Assembly will vote on the amended bill before it rises on May 16. The DA and FF+ opposed the adoption of the bill by the select committee, while the ANC and EFF supported it. The bill aims to provide a broad preferential procurement framework for procurement by organs of state and includes sections aimed at empowerment and transformation such as set-asides, pre-qualifying criteria and mandatory subcontracting and localisation in certain circumstances. Preferences must be given to blacks, women, people with disabilities, small enterprises, co-operatives and military veterans, the latter being added by the select committee. With a new government after the elections and possibly a new minister of finance and new finance committees in parliament, it was considered preferable to finalise the bill during the current parliamentary term. In this context, the select committee has introduced a clause in the bill requiring a review of the act within 24 months of its being published in the government gazette. The review must include an evaluation of implementation and the need for amendments, and the Treasury must consult stakeholders, including the National Economic Development and Labour Council (Nedlac). Within 27 months of the acting being published, the Treasury must make public a report on the review and submit it to parliament. In its report on the bill, the select committee noted “that there are several issues raised by the stakeholders and the committee that are not addressed in this bill. The committee sees the bill as a “first phase” bill. Further matters can be considered in a “second phase” bill. Committee chairperson Yunus Carrim said the committee spent 40 hours processing the bill. “Even if we had another six months, it’s unlikely we would make any further major changes. “It’s a ‘first phase’ bill because there might be some challenges in its implementation. Also, stakeholders who took part in the Nedlac process were unhappy with the changes made by the National Assembly committee and wanted the bill to be sent back to Nedlac. While we respect Nedlac, parliament ultimately decides on a bill, taking into account Nedlac agreements. But we compromised and decided that the minister has to review the act within 24 months, after public consultation, and bring any amendments to parliament in the ‘second phase’.” Carrim said the main improvements made to the bill by the committee were that constitutional issues had been addressed and the sequential nature of different forms of empowerment clarified, as well as definitions of terms. “There is clearer alignment between the different sections. Transparency provisions have been enhanced. Tribunals will be set up in the provinces. Time frames for decision-making have been included. There’s a clearer link with the BBBEE Act.” The committee believed that the second phase of the bill should consider the extent of the minister’s power to regulate. It also recommended that within six months of the bill becoming law, the National Treasury estimate the financial cost of implementing the bill and report to the committee on this. “The committee is concerned about the capacity of National Treasury and the relevant institutions in all three spheres of government to effectively implement the bill. It notes, however, that the bill provides for different sections of the bill to be implemented at different times. The committee recommends that capacity, funding and other resources should also be taken into account when decisions are taken on this phasing in of the bill. The committee recommends that within six weeks of the committee being constituted in the seventh term of parliament, National Treasury must present an implementation programme on this bill to the committee.” In an 11th hour letter to the committee sent on Tuesday, the Institute of Race Relations objected to the little time given to stakeholders to make submissions on the final draft of the bill. It also argued that the Treasury needed to disclose what the bill would cost provinces in terms of BEE premiums. ‘Disclaimer - The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the BEE CHAMBER’.


    South African Government | 5 May 2024 The Minister of Higher Education, Science and Innovation, Prof Blade Nzimande will launch the 4IR Centres of Excellence at TVET Colleges at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research in Pretoria. The launch of the 4IR Centres of Excellence is a result of a strong partnership between selected Sector Education and Training Authorities (SETAs) and the Department of Higher Education  and Training and Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) Colleges. These SETAs include Education and Training and Development Project, Financial and Accounting and Manufacturing, Engineering and Related Services Sector Education and Training Authorities. The ETDP SETA-DHET project emanated from research work, discussions between the SETA Accounting Authority/Board and the DHET, and a desire to respond to the white paper on post-school education and training to make TVET colleges institutions of choice. The ETDP SETA- DHET partnership agreed to sponsor ten TVET colleges while the MerSETA targeted minimum ten colleges over a five-year period. This noble idea to establish 4IR Centres of Excellence is intended to ensure 4IR skills training taking place in the TVET colleges for both students and lecturers and to also benefit the communities surrounding the colleges, inclusive of those youth described as the Not in Education, Employment or Training (NEET) to improve their employability. ‘Disclaimer - The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the BEE CHAMBER’.


    Informal training is the means that many organisations use to drive their Skills Development mandate. Category G is Informal Training whereby the Skills Matrix references work-based informal programmes. It refers to the workplace or internal training, whereby one employee trains another. The following evidence substantiates a claim for this category (Not limited to): o   Certified copy of a South African identity document; o   A signed EEA1 or any documentation confirming race and gender presented by the trainee; o   A training register confirming the date, the number of hours, as well as the trainer’s and trainee’s names. All parties must sign off this evidence; o   The payslip/s of the trainer will verify the hourly rate paid in the month training took place. Evidence may include the trainer’s IRP5 if the Measurement Period is a February year-end. Skills Development Services  are available to assist Members with B-BBEE Verification requirements under the element of Skills Development.


    Changes to B-BBEE Legislation in 2013 closed a loophole that allowed early payment terms for Black Owned businesses in exchange for Preferential Procurement points. The amendments meant that an organisation may only claim early payment terms from Supplier Development Beneficiaries. Therefore, the following applies to an invoice on which a claim for early payment is going to be made: The invoice payable for goods or services must appear in an organisation’s TMPS; Only the amount for early payment terms must reflect. Enterprise & Supplier Development Services are available to assist with claiming early payments.


    Daily, during the procurement process, organisations are purchasing across sectors, whether they are paying for hotel accommodation, professional fees or other goods and services that support the delivery of their business offering. Similarly, an organisation measured on a specific B-BBEE Sector Code of Good Practice may make purchases from suppliers measured on other B-BBEE Sector Codes of Good Practice. In choosing a supplier that is measured outside the B-BBEE Sector Code of Good Practice on which an organisation is measured, one must be aware of each B-BBEE Sector Code of Good Practice’s targets and expectations. An example is that qualification criteria for EMEs & QSEs differ under Sectors such as Construction and Media, Advertising & Communication. Without being aware of each criterion of each B-BBEE Code of Good Practice, this could, at the time of a B-BBEE Verification, impact an organisation’s Preferential Procurement Scorecard. Certificate Collection Services are available to assist Members with validating B-BBEE Statuses.


    Phryne Williams | 6 May 2024 It has been a year since President Cyril Ramaphosa signed the Employment Equity Amendment Act into law which has empowered Thulas Nxesi, the Minister of Employment and Labour to update thresholds for employment equity for each of the country’s national economic sectors. The minister republished these five-year targets on February 1, giving 90 days for interested parties to make submissions by May 2, 2024. The broad aim of the amendment is enhanced focus on moving towards improved demographic representation in top and senior management, as well as in professionally qualified and skilled levels. The targets will apply to all South African companies with 50 or more employees. The proposed Black Economic Equity (BEE) targets for financial services businesses include that 46% of top management comprised of employees from the three newly defined designated groups with a split of 26% males and 20% female. At senior management level the target is a total of 48% from designated groups with an equal gender split of 24%. In the professionally qualified band, the proposed target is 64% of employees from designated groups, of which 30% must be male and 34% female. At the skilled and technical level, 88.2% of employees must be representative of the designated groups; 47.4% male and 40.8% female. Across the board, the goal is to have 2% of the national workforce represented by people with disabilities, and in this regard, there is no gender split. Alongside the recent memorandum of understanding signed between the Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA) and the Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment Commission (B-BBEE Commission), the sector is coming under increasing pressure in its commitments to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). While the numbers may be tweaked following submissions, the proposed targets are a fair indication of the alignment that banks, insurers, asset managers and others will need to focus on when it comes to hiring, retention and succession planning over the next five years. We expect these regulatory forces to shape recruitment processes and motivate more strategic approaches to attracting talent in a market encumbered by skills shortages. In the intensified search for top-level BEE talent, retained executive search will come to the fore, and progressive tools such as market and talent mapping will support firms in connecting and building relationships with key next generation talent. We must keep in mind that while new regulations bring demands, there are distinct advantages for companies improving their BEE scorecards. Greater diversity at management level set in a constructive, inclusive culture has been shown to improve decision-making, boost innovation and financial performance. In essence, the BEE targets can be viewed as drivers of DEI that will help South African financial services companies become future fit in a fast-changing world. The new working relationship between FSCA and the B-BBEE Commission, announced March 5, 2024, aims to address concerns around the submissions of B-BEE compliance reports by the financial sector and the gaps that exist in the collection of the industry’s B-BEE data. Both parties have highlighted the critical roles that the financial sector in particular plays in economic development and empowerment, enterprise development and poverty reduction. In addition, the finalisation of the Conduct of Financial Institutions (COFI) Bill is pending, and this will bestow greater powers on the FSCA when it comes to transformation. We can’t lose sight of the fact that our financial sector has made important gains when it comes to DEI. A 2022 Deloitte’s Global Report on advancing gender praised South Africa’s financial service industry for its progress in working towards gender parity, especially in next generation and senior leadership roles. The latest Alexforbes 2023 Manager Watch Survey of Retirement Funds Investment Managers noted a dramatic increase in the number of strategies driven by BEE mandates. It’s going to be critical over the next five years to escalate successes like these. As new regulations come into force, there needs to be a sharper focus on executive search and other more strategic approaches to identifying, engaging with, retaining and developing key financial services talent, especially those fit for top and senior management levels. ‘Disclaimer - The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the BEE CHAMBER’.


    Jim Tait | 5 May 2024 In an open letter to Ms Thato Ramaili, CEO of the Property Professions Regulatory Authority, Jim Tait raises concerns regarding the requirement for real estate practitioners to submit fully compliant BEE certificates. Highlighting challenges and proposing alternative approaches, Tait emphasizes the need for a more practical implementation strategy. Urging collaboration with industry stakeholders and addressing internal inefficiencies within the PPRA, his letter seeks to ensure equitable progress in the real estate sector. Dear Ms. Thato Ramaili, CEO of the Property Professions Regulatory Authority I am writing to you directly as well as addressing this as an open letter to voice significant concerns shared by many within the real estate sector regarding the PPRA’s intention to enforce the requirement for every business property practitioner to submit not only valid but fully compliant BEE certificates with their Fidelity Fund Certificate (FFC) renewal applications starting in 2025, and with immediate effect for new applications. Historical Context and Current Challenges While the intentions behind Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) and, more recently, Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (B-BBEE) aim to correct historical imbalances and foster a more inclusive economic environment, their implementation has not achieved the desired impact since their inception. Unfortunately, both BEE and B-BBEE have often led to significant challenges throughout the economy and in this case, particularly in the real estate sector, especially for small to mid-sized enterprises. These policies have frequently benefited a select few at the expense of broader economic development, failing to foster real empowerment or economic inclusivity. Supporting New Enterprise Creation A more sustainable and equitable approach would involve actively supporting the creation and growth of new enterprises by previously disadvantaged groups. By facilitating access to funding, training, and resources, we can empower these individuals to set up, own, and manage their own companies. This strategy recognizes that wealth and empowerment cannot simply be legislated into existence but must be built through genuine opportunities for entrepreneurship. Such an approachnot only expands the economy but also enhances competition, leading to better deals in the real estate sector—more competitive commission structures for all agents, and improved services and pricing for all consumers. Unintended Consequences of Redistribution Policies Furthermore, policies that mandate the redistribution of ownership based on demographic criteria can have unintended psychological and motivational consequences. For the party from whom assets are taken, such policies can diminish the incentive to innovate and invest. For the recipient, this approach can undermine self-esteem and foster dependency, as benefits are not earned through merit. True empowerment arises from opportunities gained through one’s capabilities and hard work. It is crucial to foster a policy environment that encourages success based on merit, ensuring that all individuals can genuinely feel proud of their achievements and contribute positively to the economy. Global Perspectives and Alternative Approaches Research and case studies from around the world suggest that empowerment and transformation can be achieved through various means not limited to strict regulatory compliance. Countries like Brazil and Malaysia have successfully implemented broader educational and economic participation programs that have led to substantial improvements in socio-economic disparities without the drawbacks observed in narrowly focused policies such as those observed with BEE and B-BEE in South Africa. Barriers to Entry and Funding Challenges It is pertinent to acknowledge that the qualifications required to enter the real estate sector are not overly restrictive, which theoretically allows access for individuals from various backgrounds, including those who have been previously disadvantaged. This openness is crucial for fostering a diverse and dynamic industry. However, a significant hurdle arises in the early stages of establishing a real estate business, particularly for those aiming to run their own agencies. The gap between performing work and receiving income can often span several months, posing a substantial cash flow challenge. This delay in income makes it extremely difficult for new entrants, especially those from disadvantaged backgrounds, to sustain themselves and their businesses during the initial phases.Helping these individuals overcome these early financial hurdles would not only be more effective than mandating existing businesses to relinquish or redistribute their hard-earned assets, but it would also significantly enhance the self-esteem and autonomy of new entrants, truly empowering them to succeed on their own merits. Concerns over Practical Implementation and Industry Impact The transition from a validity requirement to a compliance mandate within such a condensed timeframe (approximately 17 months) could disproportionately impact smaller agencies. These entities often lack the resources to rapidly overhaul their operational structures to meet the stringent new standards. It is crucial to consider the feasibility of such significant changes without jeopardizing the livelihoods of those the policy aims to support. Additionally, the introduction ofthese changes has been sudden and, to many in the industry, unexpected. This shift has caused considerable uncertainty and apprehension among practitioners, who were previously under the impression that existing certificates were primarily for data-gathering rather than strict compliance enforcement. Another important point to consider is one of the qualifying criteria for an estate agent to be issued a Fidelity Fund Certificate (FFC). The agency under which they work must also possess a current and valid FFC. Should the agency not be issued an FFC, by default, all agents working for that agency would not receive theirs either. This could affect a large percentage of estate agents working in the industry, potentially impacting thousands of agents. Recommendations for a Constructive Way Forward Given the potential negative consequences outlined, I strongly urge the PPRA to adopt a more practical and proven approach to policy implementation. Engaging with industry stakeholders to develop alternative empowerment strategies could ensure that the goals of transformation are met without unintended setbacks. Furthermore, given the PPRA’s history of inefficiency and suboptimal performance, particularly in the issuance of Fidelity Fund Certificates (FFCs), it is imperative that the Authority focuses its energy on a significant internal overhaul. These existing inefficiencies are already costing working estate agents a considerable amount in wasted time, energy and income. By getting its operational house in order, the PPRA would be better equipped to serve the real estate industry faithfully and efficiently, restoring confidence among property practitioners. In closing, while the intentions behind the BEE certifications align with national goals of empowerment and transformation, the method and pace of implementation require urgent reassessment to avoid repeating the economically destructive failures that have historically plagued both BEE and B-BBEE policies. These policies have consistently led to unintended negative impacts on the industry. Thank you for your attention to these matters. We look forward to a constructive dialogue and are eager to contribute to solutions that advance our industry and fulfill the broader goals of equity and empowerment in South Africa. ‘Disclaimer - The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the BEE CHAMBER’.


    Samsung Newsroom | 30 April 2024 Samsung has retained its Level-1 B-BBEE status for six (6) years in succession. This is a true testament of Samsung’s 30-year commitment and the positive impact its continuous investment has had, to the country’s transformation agenda. This Level-1 B-BBEE achievement complemented by its continued investment in the country, places Samsung in a firm position where it remains a strong supporter of economic transformation and an active contributor to the future of the South African economy. Since the dawn of democracy when Samsung entered the African continent through the establishment of the South African office, the company has been pushing its transformation agenda by investing in a number of empowerment programmes for the future, which have now led to positive social changes within the broader African continent. The B-BBEE level rating is used to measure the extent to which local companies comply with the system of B-BBEE, driven by key pillars that include Ownership through EEIP & Management Control (Indirect Empowerment), Employment Equity & Skills Development, Preferential Procurement & Enterprise Development as well as Socio-Economic Development (Social Responsibility). Even though there may be all kinds of complexities to implementing B-BBEE, Samsung has made incredible strides forward in its long-term vision for the country and its overall B-BBEE philosophy and strategy. Driven through the company’s landmark R280-million Equity Equivalent Investment Programme (EEIP) which was launched in May 2019 in partnership with the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (Dtic), Samsung is now celebrating five years of this programme’s sustained success. This EEIP programme is projected to have a measurable impact on job creation and a contribution of nearly R1-billion to the South African economy at large. Five years in and Samsung’s EEIP programme has managed to rise to the challenge of achieving its ambitious goals. Measurable outcomes include an accumulative investment of R138-million to date in SME development and capacity building in the ICT sector. With environmental sustainability being one of the major focus areas for Samsung, one black-woman-owned E-waste business was supported. Samsung believes that entrepreneurship is vital to combating youth unemployment. To this effect, two Software Development enterprises were assisted. Also, to give marginalised communities better access to electronic repair services and encourage a culture of entrepreneurship, Samsung provided support to two Accredited Service Centres. Lenhle Khoza, B-BBEE & Transformation Manager at Samsung Africa said: “As the company enters its second phase of EEIP programme, its investment in the socio-economic development of the country and its people will remain as one of the main focus areas. To improve our reach and impact, the expansion plan of Samsung’s EEIP programme is now focusing on provinces beyond the initial areas that included Gauteng, Western Cape and KZN. The roll-out plans have now been extended to other under-privileged rural provinces such as the Eastern Cape and Limpopo.” And through ongoing investment, the EEIP programme aims to deliver measurable impact and a lasting legacy for generations to come. As part of the second phase of the Enterprise Development programme which was launched towards the end of last year, a further investment of over R30-million is planned over the next three years. A well-considered and integrated approach has enabled Samsung to partner with universities and SETA accredited training providers to train 1440 software developers and accredited technicians to enhance their prospects of securing employment, starting their own businesses and further training. By the end of March this year, 595 unemployed youth had been trained. This addresses a key need in the South African ICT sector and has resulted in a marked increase in female software developer and artisan graduates. Increasing female representation in ICT training is ultimately vital to reverse the market trend of lower gender representation in this sector. Employment is a fundamental component of Samsung’s EEIP training plan and Samsung is working closely with its partners to achieve a target absorption rate of 100%. Importantly, to prove that its transformation agenda is not just a tick box exercise – Samsung has increased its focus on unemployed learners through its internship and learnership programmes, supported by an emphasis on creating work experiences during and post the learnership or internship period. This skills development programme is geared towards ensuring that Samsung increases the employability of the country’s young hopefuls. This year, Samsung has re-affirmed its commitment to not only providing external bursaries, but also plans to continue investing in youth on a larger scale. Samsung’s bursary fund supported a diverse pool of 49 students in fields that varied from finance, law, supply chain, HR, IT to marketing. Internally, Samsung has an impactful employee development programme. In the case of Management Control, the representation in both Samsung’s Board and Exco reflects the demographics of the country. Samsung has also been driving employment equity through the progression and appointment of employees at each occupational level. In addition, the company has also been re-directing existing spend to qualifying Black-Owned and Black-Women Owned (BWO) Qualifying Small Enterprises (“QSEs”) and Exempt Micro Enterprises (“EMEs”) to include them in the existing procurement value chain of Samsung South Africa with a focus on the following areas that have been approved: Marketing, Services, Sales, Logistics and Recruitment. This is supplemented by the continued focus on the development of black talent in the business through the provision of grant and preferential loan funding to qualifying Enterprise and Supplier Development beneficiaries, with the possibility of graduating them to become suppliers to Samsung. These empowerment efforts have a strong focus on SME development and are in-line with Samsung’s transformation plans which aim to address key developmental aspects linked to the National Development Plan (NDP) and the overall transformation of the economy. And as a good corporate citizen that has consistently supported the country’s transformation agenda in the last three decades, Samsung has invested in a number of education-focused, corporate social responsibility (CSR) programmes. These education-focused Socio-Economic Development initiatives that include the Samsung Innovation Campus (SIC) and Solve For Tomorrow (SFT) competition are re-affirming the company’s commitment to STEM education and the upliftment of underserved communities. “As a passionate supporter of the country’s transformation objectives, we have consistently been striving to adhere to the country’s legislation. This sixth-year, as a Level-1 B-BBEE compliant organisation is indeed an accomplishment worth celebrating. With our combined efforts, we have managed to exceed almost all the requirements of the pillars of South Africa’s B-BBEE system,” concluded Khoza. ‘Disclaimer - The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the BEE CHAMBER’.


    Creamer Media | 2 May 2024 Key questions around B-BBEE implications remain unanswered as deadline looms A pivotal shift for South Africa's Skills Development sector, the recent announcement of a three-year extension to the S12H tax incentive, has sparked both relief and renewed uncertainty for companies. While welcomed, it has brought some pressing questions to the fore around the transition to the Quality Council for Trades and Occupations (QCTO) and its implications for Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (B-BBEE). Rajan Naidoo, Managing Director of EduPower Skills Academy says businesses’ need for further information is now urgent with the 1st July starting date for the transition to QCTO Occupational Certificates looming. “The extension to the S12H tax incentive has provided some guidance for the sector around rebates but we still need clarity in several other areas,” he adds. “With just over two months until companies can no longer register learners for SETA-accredited learnerships, each day without answers heightens the challenges faced by businesses that want to comply with regulations and meet their B-BBEE objectives.” Naidoo highlights the following key questions regarding B-BBEE and the transition to the QCTO Occupational Certificates: 1. How will QCTO qualifications be recognised within the B-BBEE framework? There is uncertainty around how QCTO Occupational Certificates will be acknowledged under Skills Development on B-BBEE scorecards; and if these will contribute the same number of points as SETA legacy qualifications. 2. Are there specific Skills Development scorecard changes related to QCTO qualifications? In light of the traditional 12-month cycle associated with learnerships and employment creation, clarity is required regarding how the awarding of corporate credits will be dealt with in future. The longer duration and potentially higher credit requirements of QCTO Occupational Certificates compared to legacy learnerships could also pose challenges for B-BBEE verifiers. 3. Are there any incentives or bonuses for supporting QCTO qualifications? While the extension of the S12H tax incentive is a positive, businesses need to understand if there will be any other funding. Currently, companies can access mandatory and discretionary grants via their industry SETAs. However, will these continue or be replaced with other incentives? 4. Will existing B-BBEE points remain valid? Clarification is needed about whether investments made in prior skills development initiatives by companies will still count towards their B-BBEE scores during the transition period. 5. Will companies be able to claim B-BBEE points for investing in the transition to QCTO qualifications? The substantial investment required to transition to QCTO qualifications prompts questions regarding the eligibility of companies – especially those with Training departments – to claim B-BBEE points for expenses related to this process, including training materials and staff development. 6. Will B-BBEE verification agencies be qualified to adjudicate QCTO qualifications and what documentation will be required? Businesses need assurances that B-BBEE Verification Agencies will be upskilled and certified in the transition to QCTO qualifications and their implications for scorecards. There has also been no communication around the specific documentation and evidence required to prove compliance with QCTO Occupational Certificates during B-BBEE verification audits. 7. How will QCTO qualifications impact Employment Equity targets and Socio-economic Development initiatives? The question of how employing individuals with QCTO qualifications and supporting QCTO-related socio-economic development initiatives will align with companies’ B-BBEE strategies and goals still remains. The Skills Development industry is clearly in a state of limbo currently, grappling with uncertainties surrounding the impact of QCTO on B-BBEE compliance. As the 30th June deadline which marks the end of SETA-accredited learnerships approaches, Naidoo emphasises the critical need for decisive action and clear guidelines to address these concerns and many other unanswered questions facing the industry. "Without this direction, we risk stalling progress and undermining the very essence of transformational change that the Skills Development sector has worked so hard to achieve,” he concludes. ‘Disclaimer - The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the BEE CHAMBER’.

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