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    Simnikiwe Mzekandaba | 11 April 2024 While considered a greenshoot for employment opportunities, South Africa’s ICT sector saw a decline in employment numbers in 2023, according to the State of the ICT Sector in SA report. Data from the report shows employment across telecommunications, broadcasting, and postal sectors collectively decreased by 5.6% in 2023,mirroring SA’s overall unemployment challenge. Released annually by regulator, the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA), the report examines performance and developments in the ICT sector, focusing on three sectors under its jurisdiction – broadcasting, postal services and telecoms. The data used to compile the report was obtained through a customised questionnaire distributed to key stakeholders covering the period from 1 October 2022 to 30 September 2023. It details the assessment of factors, such as financial, employment, subscriptions, on the ICT sector. For this latest instalment, ICASA received 98 responses from the Electronic Communications Service and Electronic Communications Network Service licensees, 29 responses from television and radio broadcasters and seven responses from postal service operators. All the big operators responded to the questionnaire. According to report, the total combined employment for the three sectors was 49 689 in 2023, down from the total of 56 709 employees recorded in 2019. This, it notes, reflects the fluctuations within the broader employment landscape, indicative of varying industry challenges and economic influences. “Over a five-year period, the total employment for the three sectors decreased by 3.25%,” the report says. “Telecommunications decreased by 2.23%, broadcasting employment decreased by 4.59% and postal service employment still shows a decline in terms of growth as it decreased by 5.73% for the same period.” Compounded by a weakening economy, South Africa’s joblessness has continued to rise, with the official unemployment rate at 32.1% in the fourth quarter (Q4) of 2023. Youth aged 15-34 years remain vulnerable in the labour market, with the total number of unemployed youth increasing to 44.3% in Q4 2023. Examined individually, the report indicates that between 2022 and 2023, there was a decline of 4.39% in total employment within the telecoms sector. According to ICASA, the employment data used in this report only focuses on its licensees. Telecoms employment refers to persons employed in full-time equivalents, meaning the total number of persons in full-time equivalent units, employed by telecommunication operators in the country for the provision of telecoms services, including fixed-telephone, mobile-cellular, internet and data services. In 2022, the telecoms sector employed 32 280, decreasing to 30 862 in 2023, the report shows. Additionally, the proportion of female employees relative to the total workforce saw a decline from 11 943 in 2022 to 11 665 in 2023, marking a 2.33% decrease. Over a five-year period, the telecommunications sector’s total employment decreased by 2.23% and female employment increased by 2.62%. Employment of top management – commonly referred to as exco members – rose by 16.34%, climbing from 299 in 2022 to 331 in 2023. Similarly, top black management employment increased by 22.12%, reaching 119 from 81 in 2022. Additionally, top female management employment experienced a growth of 20%, increasing from 40 in 2022 to 48 in 2023. For a period of five years, top management increased by 3.63%, top black management increased by 10.09%, and top female management increased by14.42%, according to the report. Vodacom SA last month announced it has introduced an operational review and cost-cutting process that will potentially impact a minimum of 80 jobs. Last year, MTN SA announced it will be opening voluntary severance packages and voluntary early retirement for eligible employees, as part of its ongoing focus on cost-efficiencies and streamlining. Similarly, telecoms firm Rain indicated that transforming of its Johannesburg office would impact a “minimal” number of jobs. Broadcasting also witnesses a reduction in the total number of people employed, with the sector employing a total of 3 524 in 2023, down from 3 562 in 2022. Based on the report, from 2022 to 2023, the employment composition within the broadcasting industry underwent changes, namely skilled employment rose marginally from 2 629 to 2 633; semi-skilled employment declined from 537 to 522; the number of individuals with disabilities decreased from 95 to 90; and unskilled employment decreased from 95 to 64 positions. “These figures illustrate the shifting dynamics of workforce distribution within the sector over the specified period, reflecting alterations in demand, skill requirements, and possibly organisational restructuring initiatives,” states the report. Exco member employees in broadcasting increased from 82 in 2022 to 89 in 2023. Top female employees slightly decreased from 25 in 2022 to 24 in 2023. Black top management employees decreased from 56 in 2022 to 43 in 2023. Like broadcasting, the postal services sectorsaw a reduction in the number of persons employed during the period under review. The postal sector witnessed a slight decrease in employment by 1.07%, the report shows. The employment for postal service sector decreased from 16 792 in 2022 to 15 303 in 2023, it states. “The number of semi-skilled employees decreased by 13.26%, skilled employees decreased by 33.99%, and unskilled employees decreased by 18.59% in 2023. However, during the same period, the number of employees living with disabilities increased by 29.03%.” The national postal service the South African Post Office (SAPO) is undergoing a business rescue process that will potentially see up to 6 000 employees lose their jobs. Last week, Business Day reported that 4 700 SAPO employees have been issued retrenchment letters. However, the SAPO shareholder, the Department of Communications and Digital Technologies, remained mum on how many people will end up losing their jobs as part of its ongoing business rescue plan. Once considered a key institution, mismanagement and outdated systems have brought the post office to its knees. The state-owned entity is in dire financial straits, with liabilities totalling approximately R12.5 billion, as at 31 July 2023. Furthermore, it’s been revealed that its previously large branch network will shrink to just 600 branches nationwide. ‘Disclaimer - The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the BEE CHAMBER’.


    Creamer Media | 10 April 2024 The International Franchise Expo (IFE) is set to host a significant event at the Gallagher Convention Centre from July 20th to 21st, 2024. Exhibitors and visitors alike are poised to navigate the expansive terrain of Franchising and discover avenues for unprecedented business growth. Fred Makgato, CEO of the Franchise Association of South Africa, underscores the significance of this opportunity, asserting, "Whether you represent an established business, a start-up, or an emerging enterprise, seizing this chance is crucial. It provides a platform to showcase your offerings and guide others in forging their financial security by becoming part of the franchise community." In the face of global economic challenges, Franchising is a highly viable and enduring sector. Franchising is a powerful tool for addressing unemployment in South Africa by fostering job creation and nurturing entrepreneurship. Despite the economic challenges and issues such as load-shedding, viable franchise opportunities are available. Franchising has - and can -continue to create employment, training and skills development, increased entrepreneurship and small business ownership, access to financing for people and businesses wanting to access the sector, as well as contribute to overall economic growth. There are great examples of success in Franchising in our country with more opportunities on the table. The Growth Journey of Franchise Giants South Africa proudly boasts franchise success stories that have become household names. With over 950 stores across the country, KFC had humble beginnings in SA with its first store in Orange Grove opening in 1971. The story of KFC exemplifies the transformative power of Franchising, turning a small store into a phenomenon. Makgato comments, "KFC's journey is a testament to the potential within Franchising. It has become a household name, showcasing the power of consistent quality and a strong brand.” Chicken Licken, founded in 1981 in Ridgeway Johannesburg, is a success story deeply rooted in South African culture. Makgato highlights, "Chicken Licken has become synonymous with South African fast food, reflecting franchise businesses' entrepreneurial spirit and adaptability. From its beginnings in Ridgeway, it has expanded its footprint, proving that South African franchises can and do thrive." Sorbet, starting in 2005, has also become a staple in the health and beauty industry. "Sorbet's success lies in identifying and meeting consumer needs. From its early struggles to secure the first franchise, it has emerged as a highly popular and recognizable brand, seen in practically every city in South Africa. It's a remarkable journey that showcases the potential for growth in the franchising sector." Barriers to Entry Squashed by New Opportunities While the success stories of giants are inspiring, access and cost can be a barrier for aspiring franchisees. However, the South African franchise landscape does offer other great opportunities.  No other industry or sector has such diversity of business segments within its operating spectrum. Franchising represents businesses ranging from retail to real estate; from fast food to restaurants; from automotive products and services to building, office and home services; from education and training to health and beauty; from business-to-business to personal and professional services; from construction to digital and technology. “While the bigger brands have often saturated the market, the excitement of an expo like IFE is that it serves as a platform to showcase new, up-and-coming brands that could become tomorrow’s big brands,” says Makgato. IFE 2024: Where Success Stories Begin As IFE 2024 approaches, it's not just an invitation; it's a call to action for prospective exhibitors to be part of the platform where success stories begin. The expo offers an unparalleled opportunity for professionals to network, gain insights, and showcase their brands to a massive audience. Makgato emphasizes, "Join us at IFE 2024, connect with key players in the industry, gain exposure, and elevate your franchise to new heights." Expectations for Exhibitors at IFE 2024: 1.Grand-Scale Brand Promotion: Becoming an exhibitor at IFE is not just an opportunity; it's a strategic move to position your brand in the spotlight. The expo offers an expansive platform to showcase your best services and products to a massive audience of potential customers and partners. It's a stage where your brand can shine, attracting the attention of hundreds of potential investors and entrepreneurs. 2. Networking for New Business: IFE provides a distinctive opportunity for professionals to connect with peers, industry experts, potential partners, and customers across diverse sectors, ranging from retail and fast food to automotive, DIY, education, health, beauty, and more. The expo serves as a hub of networking possibilities, fostering meaningful connections and collaborations. 3.Gaining Industry Knowledge: Stay at the forefront of innovation with insights into various industries' latest products, services, and trends. IFE promises to be a melting pot of innovation, allowing exhibitors to explore new technologies, compare products, and gain valuable insights into emerging trends and consumer preferences. Seize the Opportunity! Chart Your Course Towards Business Growth! Prospective exhibitors are encouraged to seize this unparalleled opportunity to explore the world of Franchising further. It's a chance to chart a course towards business growth and be part of the success stories that define South Africa's franchise landscape. Exhibitor Packages Available: 1.Basic Package: Starting at R690 per SQM 2.Furnished Package: R1092.50 per SQM 3.Raw Space Package: R1955 per SQM (Rates quoted excluding VAT) Book Your Stand Today! Contact our Sales Department: Date: July 20 – 21, 2024 Venue: Gallagher Convention Centre, Johannesburg, South Africa Exhibitor Information ‘Disclaimer - The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the BEE CHAMBER’.


    Signa Group | 9 April 2024 Signa Group proudly announces a significant stride in aligning its impact vision by making shareholding available in the business to Signa Trust. Signa Trust is a non-profit organisation (NPO) member entity founded in 2013 by Signa Group with the vision of paying forward our success to the South African community. Signa Trust sponsors black disadvantaged women in tertiary education to enable gender and racial transformation in the South African workforce. Under the management of an independent board of external trustees and audit firm, Signa Trust has sponsored the tertiary education of 79 beneficiaries over the past 10 years in various qualification fields, including IT, medical, and science. All beneficiaries coming from underprivileged backgrounds receive not only funding for studies but also assistance with accommodation, a stipend for the duration of their studies, a computer, and book allowances. Signa Trust has implemented a personal aid structure addressing emotional needs, safety, and educational support, ensuring optimal success for these students. Upon completing their studies, students have the opportunity to participate in a Signa YES (Youth Employment Service) programme or receive mentorship in their job search. Signa Trust drives the outcome of sustainable jobs for our students. To strengthen the company’s commitment to education, Signa Group is sharing its success with Signa Trust in this new partnership, further supporting sustainable growth in the country and advancing the vision of “Preparing Africa for a Working Future”. Signa Group’s goal is to impact the economic stability of South Africa and beyond by creating opportunities through education, learnerships, entrepreneurship, and job creation initiatives. We believe that this collective approach not only empowers individuals but also uplifts their families, their communities, and the nation as a whole. We hope to expand in the coming years to impact marginalisedcommunities throughout Africa and break the cycle of adversity. Our values of trust, grace, and giving within the Signa ecosystem have built a secure destination for benevolence. Clients, potential clients, and donor organisations can confidently channel their corporate social investment/social economic development (CSI/SED) budgets towards Signa Trust to sponsor bursaries. This unified token of trust and partnership ensures to serve as a promise of hope to South African black women eagerly awaiting their bursaries. Looking ahead, Signa Group remains dedicated to forging partnerships and building trust. The recent equity partnership with Signa Trust sets the stage for a future marked by optimism and growth. Our focus on strengthening investor confidence reflects our belief that positive impact and growth are intertwined as we amplify our reach and make a meaningful contribution to society. As we stride forward in our commitment to social impact and educational empowerment, we invite you to join us on this journey. Visit our website at to learn more about Signa Group and our initiatives. ‘Disclaimer - The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the BEE CHAMBER’.


    Boipelo Mere | 9 April 2024 Ten unemployed graduates from Kathu, Kuruman and Deben will be equipped with the skills necessary to enhance the local workforce and address the skills shortage within the renewable energy sector following the official inauguration of Kathu Solar Park’s first Internship Programme. TEN UNEMPLOYED graduates from Kathu, Kuruman and Deben will be equipped with the skills necessary to enhance the local workforce and address the skills shortage within the renewable energy sector following the official inauguration of Kathu Solar Park’s (KSP) first Internship Programme. The programme is aligned with KSP’s strategic socio-economic development goals and is specifically tailored to foster the upliftment of local communities. By focusing on skills development, job creation and economic empowerment, it emphasises the renewable energy sector’s critical role in driving the region’s sustainable growth. The initiative represents a concerted effort to fortify the local workforce and mitigate the skills gap in the renewable energy industry, demonstrating KSP’s commitment to both community development and environmental sustainability. Launched in the John Taolo Gaetsewe District, the programme’s official inauguration was graced by the presence of the Northern Cape MEC for Economic Development and Tourism, Abraham Vosloo, who addressed the guests. Notable figures and stakeholders from the Northern Cape’s provincial government, including Gamagara mayor Johannes Roman, were also in attendance. The programme was initially launched as a pilot in September 2023, with a focus on skills development, job creation and economic empowerment. The Internship Programme embodies KSP’s dedication to fostering sustainable development and economic empowerment throughout South Africa. It facilitates a robust professional development journey, merging targeted job-specific training with essential life skills. It’s focus is on enabling young graduates to translate their academic knowledge into practical applications, and enhances their employability and prospects within the renewable energy sector. They will therefore be equipped with a well-rounded skill-set vital for thriving in the renewable energy sector and beyond. The economic development manager at KSP, Cheryl Persensie, explained that the programme embodies KSP’s commitment to not only advancing the renewable energy industry, but also ensuring its participants are ready and able to contribute effectively. “We believe that this Internship Programme stands out by integrating job-specific training with essential personal and interpersonal skills development. This holistic approach ensures that interns are well-prepared for the professional challenges they will face in the renewable energy sector, equipping them with the skills necessary for long-term success,” said Persensie. “Looking to the future, KSP has confirmed that it will closely monitor the impact and success of this pilot cohort with the intention to extend the programme’s reach and potentially increase the number of participants in the future. “This reflects the organisation’s ongoing commitment to community development and its vision for a sustainable future powered by skilled local professionals.” ‘Disclaimer - The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the BEE CHAMBER’.


    Opinion | 8 April 2024 Since the inception of the Black Industrialists Programme nine years ago, there has been a need for renewed commitment towards industrialisation, not only to influence the economic sphere of people’s lives by raising income and employment opportunities but also the social and cultural life with increased opportunities for education, housing, public health and infrastructure development for economic growth. The sustainability of our democracy, peace and stability will depend on the success of success of such programmes. During interaction with fellow industrialists at the recent Black Industrialists and Exporters Conference at the Sandton International Convention Centre last week – which was hosted by the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (DTIC), the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) and the National Empowerment Fund (NEF), it became clear that by incorporating new processes, industrialism boosts productivity, increases employee competencies, creates jobs and boosts economic growth. Last week’s day-long conference and an award ceremony in which I was honoured with The Legacy Black Industrialist Award, provided a platform to exchange ideas, knowledge and information on the achievements of the black industrialist’s programme since 2015, as well as the challenges and opportunities presented by the programme. BLACK INDUSTRIALISTS DESERVE LOTS OF ATTENTION AND SUPPORT It was significant that there were 200 black industrialists representing more than R10 billion in turnover in an array of sectors, including aerospace and defence, agro-processing, food and beverage automotive, capital equipment and machinery and healthcare and pharmaceuticals. The conference featured 53 large companies or procurers who made pledges to buy from the growing class of black industrialists. The truth is the Black Industrialists Programme remains a work in progress and is close to my heart. I have spent my entire business life asking myself how we can build successful and entrepreneurial black industrialists with effective local and international business partners to further strengthen us and also build sustainable flourishing black owned enterprises. I have no doubt that as catalysts for national, provincial and local financial prosperity, black industrialists deserve a lot of attention and support. REFORMS TO ADDRESS BUREAUCRATIC CONSTRAINTS There is no doubt that over the years, the government has instituted several reforms to address bureaucratic constraints in the business environment and drive black industrialisation, but this is stifled by vagaries of factors embedded in an unstable world economic environment, including the dearth of basic infrastructure, policy inconsistencies and financing initiatives among others. Reflecting on the historical journey of black industrialists since 2015, President Cyril Ramaphosa said the auto sector has set clear targets, including R1bn over five years for small-scale black farmers; new legislation that increased the powers of the competition authorities to act against abuse of dominance or commercial practices by large firms that keep small businesses and black South Africans out of markets; several large companies have made around R2.4bn in funding available for supplier development and the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area, which brings together a vast market on the continent. Of course, we all lament the often dilapidated infrastructural base, challenged road networks, inefficient railway system, load-shedding and under-developed and unstable water supplies as well as other critical challenges confronting black industrialisation growth. We require renewed vigour in addressing these. DEVELOPING SPECIALISED INDUSTRIES During the black industrialist era, we recognised that we needed to develop specialised industries and manufacturing belts to not only create employment and transfer technologies but also to reduce import dependency. We are fortunate that we are the tip of the African continent and are a transit point serving the regional economies by offering good connectivity. That is why the trade, transportation, logistics, tourism and retail sectors can boost black industrialisation faster than the manufacturing and industrial sectors in its service-driven economy. EDUCATION, TRAINING AND EXPERIENCE Through education, our country creates a human capital base that is able to create goods and offer relevant services. Regrettably, since we are part of the global village we face competition in recruitment of highly skilled individuals. Education fulfils human needs. Once we fulfil human needs, we improve the quality of life of our people and restore their dignity. Of course, the government is a facilitator to build black industrialists for education, training and experience. The painful reality is that we may have government policies in place, but the reality is that we need to work harder and harder to acquire practical, business and entrepreneurial skills. Practical skills are required. This is the combination of training and experience that enables a potential industrialist to fulfil the core function of his or her business and to understand the processes involved in producing a quality product or service. Business skills are equally important to ensure that the company is run on a sound financial basis and in compliance with legal and regulatory frameworks. Many independent enterprises with good products or services flounder because stock control, the debtors’ book and cash-flow management aren’t as sound as they should be, or because there are problems with labour management. For example, a Grant Thornton Survey once found that regulation and red tape were cited by 45% of business owners in South Africa as the biggest constraint on the growth of their business, the second greatest threat for South African business owners was the lack of a skilled workforce. Entrepreneurial skills - the combination of risk-taking, vision, and innovation, is what an individual entrepreneur or entrepreneurs bring to the enterprise, and it is the talent for business that differentiates one from another. While we need practical, business and entrepreneurial skills to build black industrialists, there are challenges which are out of the control of industrialists, such as eliminating red tape and commitment to attract investors and make our country a preferred investment by taking proactive and practical steps to develop and transform the economic base, reduce poverty and create prosperity for the citizenry. INFRASTRUCTURE While skills development is important for industrialisation, there has been a recognition that telecommunications infrastructure and services, in the age of information and transnational communication (ICT), are linchpins of industrialisation, the backbone of business activity, productivity, trade and social development. Indeed, mobile telephones and other ICT infrastructures are just a few examples of how ICT is changing how people communicate, become informed or do business. The high cost and capacity in rural areas remains a challenge. Therefore black industrialisation is dependent not only on adequate skilled labour, government policies and facilitation, but also effective implementation of ICT policies. Whether the business is a big or small company, ICT and good practical skills begin with education or training from a technical college, trade school or university, and are strengthened by on-the-job experience and further post-experience training. They are the foundation on which an enterprise’s product or service offering is built and are essential to its long-term success of black industrialisation. SDGs POVERTY Skills development, eradication of government red tape, and business opportunities can help alleviate poverty and eradicate extremism from society as inequitable distribution of resources increases economic disparities. As industrialists, we should all put our efforts into the eradication of poverty as a national and social responsibility. Every individual in society should play their due role in poverty alleviation. Lest we forget that the United Nations 2030 Agenda and the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) call for a universal commitment to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure a prosperous and peaceful future for all. These goals require the active involvement of all stakeholders, including black industrialists. One of the key goals, SDG 9, focuses on promoting inclusive and sustainable industrialisation, which aligns well with our capabilities and potential to contribute to inclusive and sustainable industrialisation in our country. By adopting inclusive and sustainable industrialisation, black industrialists will significantly raise employment rates, boost gross domestic product, and create opportunities for sustainable economic growth. The inclusion of females being a national imperative. With more and more emerging black industrialists, the future looks bright. Let’s unite and build a united South Africa for all its citizens. *Dr Mokgokong, is Chairperson of Community Investment Holdings, Chancellor of North West University. She was honoured with the Legacy Black Industrialist Award at the 2024 Black Industrialists and Exporters Conference ‘Disclaimer - The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the BEE CHAMBER’.


    At the time of a B-BBEE Verification, many organisations fail to produce updated B-BBEE Statuses from their suppliers especially those who are EMEs and QSEs with Enhanced Recognition. During a B-BBEE Verification, a B-BBEE Rating Agency will generally consider: Any B-BBEE status that is valid within the Measurement Period or thereafter; Most recent valid B-BBEE Status; and A B-BBEE status that is valid for at least one day in the Measurement Period due to differing Financial Year Ends as well a customer and supplier not being measured at the same time. B-BBEE Statuses that have expired before the start of an organisation’s Financial Year End will not be accepted. Certificate Collection Services are available to clarify the validity of any B-BBEE Status on file.


    A B-BBEE Verification is based on a sampling of evidence and an element of risk. In other words, the process of analysing less than 100% of the evidence supplied. The procedure provides a Verification Analyst with a reasonable basis on which to conclude that all evidence provided is true and accurate. However, posing a challenge is a Learnership claim where the Learner is no longer employed. If that particular Learner is chosen as part of the sample, the B-BBEE Rating Agency will need to interview them for an organisation to claim its points. As per Clause (e), the SANAS R47-03 document states the following: " (e) As part of the Verification process, the Verification personnel shall interview a sufficient number of black persons at all levels of the Measured Entity to provide assurance that the information gathered is sound. For the avoidance of doubt, interviews shall be conducted for the Skills Development element. This does not exclude the sampling of white persons or others who do not meet the definition of 'Black'." Therefore, an organisation must ensure that it has up-to-date contact details of Learners no longer employed or other pieces of corroborating evidence. B-BBEE Verification Support Services are available to assist Members to prepare for B-BBEE a Verification.


    Those driving Preferential Procurement Strategies must bear the following in mind when an EME, QSE with more than 51% ‘Black’ Ownership or a Start-up Entity opts to tender outside their financial threshold. EMEs tendering for contracts of R10m and above must be verified using the QSE Scorecard; QSEs tendering for contracts of R50m and above must be verified using the Large Enterprise Scorecard; and Start-ups that qualify as EMEs that want to tender for contracts of R10m and above must be verified using the QSE Scorecard. Certificate Collection Services are available to clarify the validity of any B-BBEE Credentials.


    Ilze-Mari Van Zyl | 7 April 2024 It is alleged that a construction company run by local businesswoman Nicole Johnson supplied fraudulent BEE certificates on tender applications. In response, the National Treasury placed the company on a list of restricted suppliers for the next 10 years. In an exclusive interview, City of Cape Town Manager Lungelo Mbandazayo told the Weekend Argus that the decision to blacklist Johnson’s company follows a municipal investigation into collusion between the ‘construction mafia’ and City officials. The Weekend Argus reports that these investigations also focused on gang extortion concerning several Cape Town developments. Johnson is married to alleged 28s gang boss Ralph Stanfield, who also stands trial for a myriad of offences including theft of a motor vehicle, common assault, robbery and fraud. In December, the City of Cape Town blacklisted seven companies run by or affiliated with Johnson, and two construction contracts awarded to her were cancelled due to the ‘risk the contractor poses to the City’s reputation’. Two of these companies include upmarket Sorbet salons in Green Point and Canal Walk. A total of 12 companies have been blacklisted to date. Johnson applied for two tenders for the construction of houses as the owner of Glomix CC. Mbandazayo says he wrote to her in June last year to raise concerns about the Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (BB-BEE) certificate after the BEE Rating Agency determined it was fraudulent as it never issued such certificates to Glomix. According to Dirk Kotze Attorneys, their client (Johnson) had instructed the New Generation Corporate Group (NGCC) to obtain the certificate on her behalf. They stated that the NGCC received the certificate submitted by Johnson and thus had no reason to question its authenticity. ‘Our client was shocked to discover this fraudulent conduct and is in the process of taking appropriate legal measures against all those involved,’ they wrote in a letter to Mbandazayo. ‘We want to emphasise that our client had no motives to manipulate or falsify the certificate, as they have consistently maintained a level 1 contributor status at all relevant times.’ However, the NGCC stated they could not contact the person employed to obtain the certificate. As per the documents attached to the letter, Johnson and Stanfield paid R50 000 for the certificate. Mbandazayo informed the National Treasury of the fraudulent certificate, after which the National Treasury informed him of their decision. ‘This means Glomix CC is restricted from doing business with any organ of state for the next 10 years. The Treasury instructed me to write to Johnson and inform her of the outcome which I have done,’ he says. ‘Disclaimer - The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the BEE CHAMBER’.


    Goitsemang Matlhabe | 4 April 2024 Labour and Employment Minister Thulas Nxesi has promised over 700 000 jobs for unemployed South Africans through the launch of the Unemployment Insurance Fund’s (UIF) Labour Activation Programme (LAP). Speaking at a media briefing in Hatfield, Pretoria, on Thursday, Nxesi alongside Gauteng Premier Panyaza Lesufi and the acting director-general of his department earlier, unveiled the official launch of LAP and its endeavour to address the unemployment challenge in the country. He said through the programme, training for employment and entrepreneurship programmes would be conducted through the collaborative efforts of a number of stakeholders in particular the private businesses. The first roll-out will kick off in Gauteng on Saturday (April 6) at Nasrec, with the remaining provinces to follow suit also during the month of April. Phase one of the project starting in Gauteng will see the launch of 55 projects, pegged to create as many as 500 000 South Africans training and employment opportunities across 22 sectors. A staggering R23.8b billion has been set aside for the implementation of the 333 projects earmarked nationally, with the opportunities to run for 12 to 36 months. Nxesi was quick to provide assurance that the projects had all been subjected to ‘meticulous quality assurance’ processes to ensure that they were compliant with the policy and legislation, all the necessary controls are in place, and also see to it that there is capacity and the necessary resources in place to produce real outcomes. Further to that, employability interventions would, according to the minister, be delivered through contracts with the various sectors on the condition that they guaranteed jobs for beneficiaries with a minimum period of employment of one year post intervention. “We added an element to say to our partners that, training people and putting them in jobs because training people for six months or a year, and then leaving them with nothing is not very helpful. The major element is the one we are talking about; that while they are being trained getting a stipend, afterwards that they must be linked to the companies to absorb them even if they do it for a year or two. “The money invested in the plan will be recouped by the UIF through contributions and revenue generated from investments as has been the sustainability model of the fund,” Nxesi added. Nxesi was commended by Lesufi, who remarked that it was the first time in the country’s history such significant strides had been made to address the challenges of unemployment in the country. “I want to thank you because come Saturday, I will be taking 500 000 off the streets and back into class and I want to thank you for your efforts,” Lesufi said. ‘Disclaimer - The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the BEE CHAMBER’.


    Phathu Luvhengo | 4 April 2024 Employment and labour minister Thulas Nxesi says his department will allocate R23bn to the Unemployment Insurance (UIF) labour activation programme (LAP). Nxesi announced the LAP programme on Thursday, which provides training for employment and entrepreneurship programmes. The programme will be launched at the Nasrec Expo Centre in Gauteng on Saturday with the provincial government and will be rolled out to other provinces in April. He said after much consultation and contemplation they have decided to invest in partnerships with the private sector to create thousands of employment opportunities. “The sectors and industries that will contribute to the creation of these opportunities include economic growth and in-demand sectors such as agriculture, ICT, construction, engineering, manufacturing, education, transport and mining. “An amount of R23.8bn will be allocated to implement this plan. Opportunities will run between 12 and 36 months. “The money invested in the plan will be recouped by the UIF through contributions and revenue generated from investments as has been the sustainability model of the fund.” Nxesi said strides have been made by the government through various interventions, including initiatives and programmes by government departments undertaken with partners in the private sector through labour activation programmes. “Key to the success of our collaboration with the private sector has been the UIF, which continues to fund labour activation programmes through the collection of contributions from employers and employees and revenue generated from investments to contribute to alleviation of poverty and unemployment,” he said. The LAP programme is expected to enhance the employability of unemployed people through training enabling entrepreneurship, enterprise development, preserving jobs through the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration and Productivity South Africa and collaborating between departments and entities to grow jobs, skills training and enterprise creation. Nationally, 333 recommended projects will provide training, small enterprise support and employment opportunities to 704,000 people. The programme will be launched over the coming weeks, starting with 55 projects in phase 1 for Gauteng on Saturday. The department, with the UIF, will partner with the provincial government’s Nasi Ispani project to ensure the government maximises the effect of its spending by pooling resources and eliminating duplication. Phase 2 will start on April 12. He said collaboration with the provinces will assist in matching projects, recruitment and funding, build partnerships and reduce duplication. “Projects will be broken down into districts to ensure an even spread in Gauteng and then the other provinces.” Opportunities are to be created in 22 sectors. ‘Disclaimer - The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the BEE CHAMBER’.


    Siyabonga Sithole | 3 April 2024 Gauteng Premier Panyaza Lesufi has once again unveiled another youth employment scheme which seeks to train 1 200 young people as disaster care workers. On Tuesday, Lesufi unveiled his latest recruitment drive during an event held at the Change Bible Church in Katlehong, Ekurhuleni, adding that on April 6, he will do the same with another launch of a jobs programme to absorb more unemployed young people. The programme is part of Lesufi’s Nasi iSpani initiative launched initially across the province last year as a direct response to high numbers of youth unemployment in the province. Gauteng Health and Wellness MEC Nomantu Nkomo-Ralehoko said she was pleased to have welcomed on board more than 1 120 emergency care interns following the completion of the rigorous assessment process to join the Green Angels. “The Green Angels Emergency Care Internship Programme was launched with the objective of expanding the pool of qualified individuals in the emergency services sector. This 12-month intervention provides aspiring health-care professionals with essential training and valuable experience enabling them to become employable and market-ready in the field of emergency care,” she said. Lesufi revealed that the new recruits will be paid a monthly stipend of R5 000 and urged the recruits to make the province proud on the ground. “While training them to be disaster care workers, we will provide R5K stipend for the year-long training – 1 200 unemployed youth in class, not on our streets. On the 6th April, we will do the same with 500K unemployed people of Gauteng. “Go out there and make us proud, but please don’t forget this message which comes from the bottom of my heart, my love for you is real and permanent,” Lesufi said during the launch. Lesufi was accompanied by Nkomo-Ralehoko during the launch of the programme, which also resulted in the signing of employment contracts. Lesufi also took time to unveil plans to install more than 18 000 CCTV cameras and e-panic buttons as part of an elaborate plan to fight crime in the province. “We are a smart province. As such, we must move with technology. We are installing more than 18 000 CCTV cameras and you must know how they work. Soon, we will be launching e-panic buttons. You are the first province to launch what we call an e-panic button. Every citizen. Every worker in Gauteng, you will have your own e-panic button which must ring next to your shoulder so that you not have to wait for 10111,” he said. ‘Disclaimer - The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the BEE CHAMBER’.

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