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    Staff Writer | 2 May 2024 The Property Practitioners Regulatory Authority (PPRA) says despite precedents set in the past, level 8 BEE compliance is now non-negotiable for all real estate agencies with a turnover of more than R2.5 million. In April, Jan le Roux, CEO of the Real Estate Business Owners of South Africa (Rebosa), voiced his concern over what he called a surprise shift in the PPRA’s Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (B-BBEE) requirements for the next round of Fidelity Fund Certificates (FFCs) for 2025. Section 48 of the new Property Practitioners Act (which came into effect in February 2022) states that no entity may act in the capacity of a property practitioner without a valid FFC, and it further makes it clear that an FFC may not be issued without a BEE certificate. According to Le Roux, the only requirement is a valid BEE certificate issued by a SANAS-registered verification entity, and no minimum score is currently necessary. He added that most BEE certificates from the previous FFC round were noncompliant, with the majority scoring below 40 points. Despite this, Le Roux said the PPRA issued FFCs without the minimum requirement, mainly for information-gathering purposes. However, this appears to have changed. Legal manager and acting transformation manager at the PPRA, Deli Nkambule, explained that “the PPRA’s position is that it will not issue an FFC unless a compliant BEE certificate accompanies the application. “The accepted level of compliance is 40 points or more (BEE Level 8). You will not be issued a BEE certificate if you score below 40 (making your BEE certificate non-compliant),” she said. Le Roux said this is a major concern, especially for small businesses, sole proprietorships, “one-man bands or mom-and-pop shops,” as he calls them because it amounts to more than 50% black ownership. Responding to Le Roux’s concerns, the PPRA CEO, Thato Ramaili, doubled down on Nkambule’s comments and said despite precedents set in the past, compliance to the BEE requirements for the next round of FFCs is non-negotiable. “Regarding Rebosa’s points, while precedents may have been set in the past to allow additional time for industry alignment, it is imperative to underscore that compliance with regulations such as those set forth by the Property Practitioners Regulatory Authority (PPRA) is non-negotiable. “PPRA plays a vital role in ensuring compliance, and it is incumbent upon all industry stakeholders, including REBOSA, to proactively work towards meeting these requirements,” said Ramaili. He added that it is essential for all organisations within the industry to remain cognizant of compliance obligations. “While individual businesses ultimately bear the responsibility for compliance, industry associations such as Rebosa have a significant role in supporting their members and facilitating compliance efforts. “Despite the challenges posed by regulatory changes, it is encouraging to see the initiatives undertakenby various entities within the industry to drive transformation,” he said. Moving forward, Ramaili said the PPRA remains committed to working collaboratively with all stakeholders to ensure a smooth transition and uphold industry standards. ‘Disclaimer - The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the BEE CHAMBER’.


    Edward West | 2 May 2024 Suzuki Auto S’s relationship with Tibane Mobile Transfer (TMT) has soured after the former enterprise development partner said the motor vehicle importer had reneged on their business arrangements without notice. TMS Group CEO David Sithole said in a letter that a good working relationship had built between the two companies after TMT was introduced to Suzuki Auto SA by the Nelson Mandela Foundation around 2016, and TMT provided driver services to collect and return Suzuki cars that had been loaned out to The Nelson Mandela Foundation for their projects. This eventually led to TMT becoming Suzuki’s Enterprise Development for their BBBEE scorecard. Sithole said the Enterprise Development programme contract started in 2022/2023 financial year, and was to run for 3 consecutive financial years, but renewed every year, based on the net profit made by Suzuki Auto SA. The programme centred around Suzuki doing pre-Delivery inspections on Suzuki vehicles sold to corporate, government and car rental customers, registering, licensing and delivering the vehicles sold to these customers, and also supplying parts and panels to these clients. “The first year of the contract their contribution to us was the rent payment of the facilities for a year (we signed a five-year lease), the purchasing of equipment and tools, mentoring and a payment of a deposit to Suzuki Auto SA, so that TMT could have a Suzuki parts account.” When the second year started, Suzuki Auto SA again paid for one years’ rent. TMT also invested to upscale the facility in anticipation of work coming from Suzuki Auto SA. “Unfortunately, Suzuki Auto SA reneged on our partnership without providing any explanation and the work suddenly ceased without any prior warning or advice. They ceased to bring any of the abovementioned work as undertaken, and this led to us bleeding money as we had employed staff and had monthly overheads we needed to meet, with no income,” said Sithole. When questioned by Business Report, Suzuki Auto SA said Tibane Mobile Services (TMS) had an Enterprise Development Agreement with them that expired on February 29, 2024, an agreement that covered a period of one year to 12 months. “Suzuki Auto SA delivered on all of its contractual responsibilities in terms of this agreement…There was no premature termination of the agreement,” the company said. Suzuki Auto SA said it had changed its business operations due to the changing market environment and, therefore, the services that TMS provided were no longer required. “Suzuki Auto SA did offer Tibane Mobile Services further Enterprise Development support for a third consecutive year in terms of a proposed further one-year agreement. Regrettably, this offer was rejected and was not accepted by Tibane Mobile Services,” the company said. Sithole said they had requested meetings with Suzuki Auto SA to get an explanation for the cessation of business. “They kept on postponing the meetings and cancelling at the last minute. Until we got an email from Suzuki Auto SA HR department on the 26th of October 2023, requesting us to amend the enterprise development agreement to a supplier development agreement. This did not sit well with us and without a valid explanation we were not comfortable to amend the contract… we sat on the 7th of December 2023 and in that meeting the responses we got from Suzuki Auto Management were not satisfactory on the reason why they stopped sending work to us,” Sithole said. He said since then Suzuki Auto SA had “initiated their attorneys on us” and things had been going to and from between the parties with no proper resolution in sight. Suzuki Auto SA said it has several BEE partners ranging from retail dealership partners to service providers, and the company has a Level 7 BEE ranking. Sithole said the “least that Suzuki SA can do is to put us back to the positive financial position we were in prior to their empty promises”. ‘Disclaimer - The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the BEE CHAMBER’.


    Bizcommunity | 30 April 2024 Solidaridad, in collaboration with the Industrial Development Corporation of South Africa (IDC) and the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (DTIC) has launched the Social Employment Fund Project; a significant initiative that aims to tackle economic stimulation, reduce unemployment and enhance food security by engaging South Africa's unemployed youth. In South Africa, unemployment remains a pressing issue, with particularly dire consequences for young people. According to Statistics South Africa’s Quarterly Labour Force Survey, the official unemployment rate was 31.9% in the third quarter of 2023. While this indicates some progress, youth unemployment remains a significant concern in South Africa, underscoring the need for targeted interventions and sustainable solutions to create more employment opportunities for young people. A call for action "The question presented by the Social Employment Fund is whether the smallholder sector can effectively absorb the unemployed population within rural and peri-urban communities. One significant barrier to scale for most smallholders is the substantial investment required for mechanisation, a benefit often enjoyed by commercial farmers. As a result, labour emerges as a critical input in the business case for scaling up smallholders. Through initiatives like the Social Employment Fund Project, in 2023, we established one more soil lab and engaged 1,352 horticulture smallholder farmers in agriculture services, with the same number benefiting from digital inclusion initiatives. We also managed to involve 2,014 young individuals in agricultural projects. The project is spearing ahead at full speed in 2024,” says Mohau Mailula, Solidaridad country manager for South Africa. The Social Employment Fund Project, currently implemented in two provinces – Gauteng and the North West - is aligned with Solidaridad's thematic areas of focus: food and nutrition, greening and the environment, and support for digital inclusion. This holistic approach ensures comprehensive development and sustainable impact in the region. "At Solidaridad, we define scale in two dimensions: increased production, which pertains to a farm's growth in hectareage, and intensification, which focuses on maximizing yield per hectare. This dual approach not only enhances farmers' revenue but also establishes a self-sustaining cycle. To maintain the heightened productivity levels, smallholders must retain their labour force, thereby, reinforcing the link between scale, productivity, and employment stability within the sector," asserts Mailula. In the pursuit of “the common good” “The Social Employment Fund also operates on the principle of work for the common good, advocating for enterprises and individuals to incorporate activities and decision-making processes that benefit the broader community over narrow self-interests. With a focus on rural and peri-urban communities, the project identified food security as a critical thematic area. This is due to the reality that rural resources provide the urban market with the nutritional diversity it enjoys, while rural communities often find themselves deprived of such variety. "By leveraging our proximity to these communities, it became imperative to enhance their food security and ensure access to a nutrient-rich diet. To achieve this, we established 300 food gardens, strategically distributing 10% of their collective yield to school feeding programs, ultimately benefiting 9,100 learners. This not only addresses immediate nutritional needs but also fosters long-term community resilience and well-being." says Mailula. As the African proverb goes, a river cuts through rock, not because of its power, but because of its persistence. As a river's persistent flow gradually shapes the landscape, so do our consistent efforts collectively pave the path towards local community progress. Every step counts. Every job matters. Each hungry stomach that is sustained is significant. In this journey towards community resilience, job skills empowerment is crucial because individuals with job skills sustain themselves and strengthen our local food security. True to the Afrocentric cultural worldview of Ubuntu (humanity), we all need to unite and do our part for the improvement of all. "As we move forward, we must work together to champion the horn of South Africa and our continent at large. The challenges facing our agricultural sector and workforce are multifaceted and require sustained commitment and collaboration from all stakeholders. "Solidaridad remains steadfast in its dedication to empowering farmers, fostering job creation, and promoting sustainable livelihoods, and we call on all partners and stakeholders to join us in this vital endeavour. Together, we can build a more resilient and prosperous future for all," concludes Shungu Kanyemba, managing director at Solidaridad Southern Africa. ‘Disclaimer - The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the BEE CHAMBER’.


    Based on Statement 300 of the General Amended B-BBEE Codes of Good Practice, an organisation can only claim Skills Development Expenditure for Learnerships if an organisation incurred such an expense within their financial year. Evidence for a Learnership for a B-BBEE Verification under the Skills Development element include, however, are not limited to: A signed Learnership Agreement; Proof of the expenditure incurred by providing invoices and proof of payment; A certified copy of a Beneficiary’s ID; A completed EEA1; Proof of Payslips; Doctor’s confirmation of Disability (if applicable); and An interview between the Learner and the B-BBEE Rating Agency conducting the B-BBEE Verification. Skills Development Services  are available to assist Members with B-BBEE Verification requirements under the element of Skills Development.


    Generally, expenses on Bursaries for employees do not constitute Skills Development Expenditure if an organisation can recover any of the employee's expenses or if the grant is conditional in any way. However, the following two conditions are acceptable as part of an employee obligation whereby expenses will be recognised. Successful completion of studies within an identified period; or The continuation of employment for a stated period following the successful completion of their studies which does not extend the period of their studies. Members need to consider the above when implementing Bursary strategies and agreements. Skills Development Services are available to assist Members to develop & implement Skills Development initiatives.


    The liquidity of an Enterprise Development Beneficiary matters. A long-term Enterprise Development Strategy more often than not incorporates future Bonus Points for elevating a Beneficiary from Enterprise Development status to that of Supplier Development. However, core to successfully claiming these points is that the Enterprise Development Beneficiary remains in business. In other words, claims only qualify if an Enterprise Development Beneficiary’s business is liquid and actively trading. Therefore, organisations must put measures in place to track the performance of their Beneficiaries. Enterprise & Supplier Development Services are available to assist Members with Enterprise & Supplier Development strategies.


    Chris Hattingh | 29 April 2024 If the deal goes ahead Anglo American will have to split off its SA platinum and iron ore units. The unsolicited all-share merger proposal from BHP Group, the world’s largest mining group, for Anglo American contains nuggets of truth which, if you are the minister responsible for mining and mineral resources in SA, won’t be altogether welcome (“BHP-Anglo deal could leave SA out in the cold”, April 26). Should Anglo American end up moving forward with the deal it will need to split off its SA platinum and iron ore units, since BHP’s offer is contingent on this. SA’s heightened country risk premium — driven up by electricity and logistics constraints as well as bureaucratic labyrinths, equity requirements, cadre deployment and preferential procurement — raises the pain threshold for international business and capital. It might well become a more common occurrence that these businesses and investors find the threshold too high to deal with. In the global context, Anglo American’s operations in Brazil, Chile and Peru (Latin America) are of particular interest and worth much for BHP; all sources of copper will be highly sought after. Should the deal be completed BHP will become the world’s top copper producer. With investors adopting a risk-off stance of late, emerging and developing economies are under pressure to present ever stronger cases for investment. SA continues to do itself few favours, and the narrative, never mind the reality, might take a while yet to be improved. ‘Disclaimer - The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the BEE CHAMBER’.


    DA | 28 April 2024 Premier Alan Winde, and Provincial Minister of Finance and Economic Opportunities, Mireille Wenger, visited the Arendsness Trading Hub in Wellington, one of 12 such hubs across the province that have been enabled to keep Small, Medium and Micro-Enterprise (SMME) businesses open, when Eskom turns the power off. Premier Winde noted, “The Western Cape has a diverse economy with SMMEs at the forefront of our growth. We have to continue helping small business owners and entrepreneurs to keep growing and thriving, because small businesses create jobs and seeing more people experiencing the dignity andpride of having a job and being able to provide for themselves and their loved ones is a key priority of this government!” He added, “One way in which we enabling job creation is by supporting small businesses with energy solutions like the Alternative Energy Support Programme.  Many SMMEs, particularly in the informal and township economies, do not have the resources to buffer the impact of load shedding, and so we must find ways to assist. I am delighted to see our interventions helping small businesses realise their full potential.” “SMMEs are the backbone of the economy of the Western Cape economy and more so in areas outside of the metro, creating up to 70% of the jobs in South Africa. In the Western Cape, we work hard to make it as easy as possible for all residents to set up and expand their businesses, so that they can create more jobs,” said Minister Wenger. “Through the Department of Economic Development and Tourism’s (DEDAT) Alternative Energy Support Programme, we allocated R12.5 million in the 2023/24 financial year to install Solar PV backup systems at trading hubs where small businesses operate, to make sure that they can stay open andkeep doing business, especially when national loadshedding hits. We are assisting at least 50 businesses to stay open, and keep trading, sustaining more than 100 jobs, despite power outages,” added Minister Wenger. The Alternative Energy Support Programme has installed 12 Solar Backup systems at 12 municipal SMME trading hubs in 7 municipalities, which include: Drakenstein Stellenbosch Cape Aghulhas Theewaterskloof Laingsburg Oudtshoorn Mossel Bay “At the heart of our economic action plan, Growth For Jobs, is the understanding that it is the private sector, and particularly, SMMEs, that create jobs. Guided by G4J we are on a mission to achieve a trillion-randjobs-rich, inclusive, sustainable, diverse, and resilient provincial economy, that is growing at between 4% and 6% per year in real terms by 2035 thus enabling the creation of between 600 000 and 1 million new jobs. Helping SMMEs to stay open is one of the ways that we are supporting and enabling the growth of SMMEs, as key drivers of jobs creation,” Minister Wenger continued. “We are determined to do as much as we can to shield small and township-based businesses from the devasting impact of power cuts, so that together, we can achieve breakout economic growth and enable hundreds of thousands of new jobs that we need to lift more and more people out of poverty,” concluded Minister Wenger. ‘Disclaimer - The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the BEE CHAMBER’.


    Yershen Pillay | 28 April 2024 In celebrating 30 years of democracy, the critical contribution of the Sector Education and Training Authority (Seta) system created under the Skills Development Act cannot be ignored. Their successes—and challenges—were celebrated at the historic Seta Skills Summit in Kempton Park this week. The Minister of Higher Education, Science and Innovation, Dr Blade Nzimande, noted that Setas are crucial in implementing and facilitating skills development within their respective sectors. Nzimande’s call to action underpinned Setas role, considering the alarming statistic that more than 3.3 million young people in our country between the ages of 15 and 24 are not in employment, education, or training, The Deputy Minister of Higher Education, Science, and Innovation, Buti Manamela, made an insightful and clarion call that the mission of all Setas should be to ensure that every citizen has a skill. Our primary mission as Setas is to facilitate the skilling and training of people in the South African context. This is not negotiable. This mission is instrumental in bolstering the economy in accordance with the Master Skills Plan, the White Paper for Post-School Education and Training, the National Skills Development Plan, and the National Development Plan 2030. The focus areas of Seta projects include infrastructure, workplace-based learning, such as internships, entrepreneurial and cooperatives development, and skills programmes related to the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR). While the Setas were implemented nearly four years after the birth of democracy, their transformative impact on the skills landscape since democracy is truly remarkable. They have addressed the skills gap and instilled a sense of inspiration for the future of skills development in South Africa. A flashback to 1994 reveals that the democratic government had inherited a broken education system wracked by the systematic underdevelopment of most children who studied in South African schools under apartheid. The origins of the skills deficit can be traced back to pre – 1994. There is no doubt that much has changed in skills development since 1994. The transition from apartheid to democracy was a monumental shift, as illustrated by the words of our first Minister of Education, Professor Sibusiso Bengu. He likened merging 17 apartheid “own affairs” departments into a single department serving all citizens to changing the course of a plane mid-flight without crashing. Initially, the government focused on creating a unified department and implementing outcomes-based education (OBE) policies. These policies, which have significantly shaped the lives of ordinary South Africans over the past three decades, were instrumental in addressing historical inequalities. They improved the teaching and learning conditions and achievements of black South Africans while also promoting inclusive education. Introducing free primary education is a beacon of hope, providing greater access to education for marginalized and vulnerable communities. This significant step has reduced financial barriers and increased enrolment rates among disadvantaged learners, painting an optimistic picture of the future. If one needs reminding of the challenges on hand, consider that under apartheid in 1982, the ruling National Party reportedly spent an average of R1,211 on education for each white child and only R146 for each Black child, fuelling the inequalities and, therefore resulting in the skills challenge we face three decades after democracy. Today, government spend on the education of a child does not discriminate on the basis of race. Addressing the apartheid education skills deficit began via Parliament in 1998 through the Skills Development Act, which sought to help people in their sector gain skills or improve their skills if they already have them. The act laid the foundation for the institutional and financial framework for Setas, including the National Skills Authority (NSA), the National Skills Fund (NSF), and institutions in the Department of Labour. The act requires the Minister of Labour to establish and support a Seta for every national economic sector. Reflecting on the journey since its establishment under democracy in South Africa is important. However, all Setas must remain steadfast in its commitment to driving positive change and transformation. As South Africa continues to navigate the complexities of a rapidly evolving global economy, Setas must stand as a beacon of hope and opportunity, empowering individuals, fostering innovation, and driving sustainable growth—one skill, one partnership, and one initiative at a time. This was the challenge given to us as Setas in Kempton Park this week. At the recent Seta Summit, there were three trends identified for skills development and training. First, Setas should respond to the digital skills trend. In this regard, it was resolved that every community should have a SMART Skills Centre to bridge the digital skills divide. Setas should work collaboratively with communities to establish SMART Skills Centres. We need to develop digital-first learning and strategic programmes and more relevant to the needs of society. The second key thematic trend was the green skills trend. The green skills trend encompasses environment, social and governance or ESG priorities and ESG reporting, as well as an increasing focus on sustainability. Setas need to focus on sustainability and drive green skills projects. The skills development act does not limit SETAs to skills development but to a broader mandate of sustainable livelihoods and contributing to the quality of life. The green hydrogen economy should be explored for creating new opportunities in the overall green economy. To this end, a new centre of specialisation for green hydrogen skills will be established by the Chemicals Seta (CHIETA), MQA, and TETA. The green hydrogen skills centre will play a key role in training green artisans. The third and final trend is that of the innovation skills trend. This includes digital innovation and non-digital innovation. Setas should prioritise new ways of skilling and training and consider innovative skills programmes that address the day-to-day struggles of the poor and working class. Celebrating 30 years is necessary. However, the task remains to ensure an even stronger footing in innovating for impact towards a skilled, sustainable future. As a sector, we must collaborate with industry and other social partners to expedite the impact of skills development for the benefit of our country, especially the poor and working class. ‘Together Skilling the Nation’ is our challenge as Setas for the celebrations to continue meaningfully with impactful outcomes for all citizens. ‘Disclaimer - The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the BEE CHAMBER’.


    Staff Writer | 28 April 2024 The Property Practitioners Regulatory Authority (PPRA) now wants all real estate agencies to meet level 8 Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (B-BBEE) requirements, which could be problematic for 65% of the industry. Section 48 of the new Property Practitioners Act (which came into effect in February 2022) states that no entity may act in the capacity of a property practitioner without a valid Fidelity Fund Certificate (FFC), and it further makes it clear that an FFC may not be issued without a BEE certificate. There are three categories for B-BBEE: Exempt Micro Enterprise (EME), Qualifying Small Enterprise (QSE), and Generic. These categories are determined by a business’s annual turnover, with EMEs having the smallest turnover at less than R2.5 million and Generic businesses making over R35 million. However, according to a City Press report, Jan le Roux, the CEO of the Real Estate Business Owners of South Africa (Rebosa), noted a concerning shift in the PPRA’s requirements for the next round of FFCs for 2025. Le Roux said the surprise was first noted in a webinar with speakers Deli Nkambule, legal manager and acting transformation manager at the PPRA, and Chris Dykes CEO of Infinity Learning to clarify matters around BEE certificates. According to Le Roux, only a valid BEE certificate is currently required. This means the certificate is valid if it has been issued by a proper verification registered with SANAS (South African National Accreditation System) and that no minimum score is required. However, Nkambule explained that “the PPRA’s position is that it will not issue an FFC unless a compliant BEE certificate accompanies the application. “The accepted level of compliance is 40 points or more (BEE Level 8). You will not be issued a BEE certificate if you score below 40 (making your BEE certificate non-compliant),” she said. Le Roux said this is a major concern, especially for small businesses, sole proprietorships, “one-man bands or mom-and-pop shops,” as he calls them because it amounts to more than 50% black ownership. He added that the majority of BEE certificates obtained in the previous round of FFC issued in 2023 were noncompliant. “Based on estimates, it is likely that most of the almost 6,000 certificates issued scored below the 40-point mark. “Despite this, the PPRA went ahead and issued FFCs, even though the minimum BEE score was not met. According to our sources, the process was mainly aimed at gathering information, and there was no minimum requirement,” he said. However, it seems this has changed. Speaking to City Press, Le Roux noted the consequences could be catastrophic, as close to 65% of the real estate agencies in the country are small businesses or sole proprietorships. He said even if real estate agencies do not get their fidelity fund certificates by 2025 due to an insufficient BEE score, they will not stop trading. Piet le Roux, CEO of Sakeliga, said that they already have plans to fight the PPRA in court and invite businesses affected to join the legal action. The PPRA’s surprise shift has been described as illegal, unconstitutional, and harmful to the economy. It has also given too little consideration to the industry’s composition. ‘Disclaimer - The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the BEE CHAMBER’.


    Paragraph 3.2.1 of  Statement 500 of the Amended General B-BBEE Codes of Good Practice warrants that a Socio-Economic Development contribution must provide income-generating opportunities. Paragraph 3.2.3 mandates that 75% of the total contribution must benefit Black People; otherwise, the claim will be pro-rated accordingly. For example: ABC Traders donates R100,000 towards an SED initiative, of which 60% are Black Beneficiaries.  The Benefit Matrix allows 100% of a Grant Contribution. However, 100% of the Value of ABC Traders contribution only reaches 60% Black Beneficiaries. The result is that ABC Traders can only claim R60,000. Socio-Economic Development Services are available to assist Members with insight Socio-Economic Development Contributions.


    Section 3.7, under Statement 400 of the Amended General B-BBEE Codes of Good Practice, allows an active Enterprise or Supplier Development Beneficiary that is an EME or QSE, which is at least 51% Black Owned, to continue as a Beneficiary when their annual turnover increases to elevate them to the Large Enterprise threshold. However, it is critical to note that an organisation may not support a Large Enterprise as an Enterprise or Supplier Development Beneficiary unless there was previous support for the Beneficiary when they were a QSE or EME. Notwithstanding, such recognition for those measured under the Amended General B-BBEE Codes of Good Practice is for five years only from the first instance assistance was provided. Enterprise & Supplier Development Services are available to guide members on the implementation of sustainable ESD Strategies.

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