New act to crim­i­nalise B-BBEE fraud

NO FRONTING!

Sunday World - - World Of Business - MOIPONE MALEFANE

PRES­I­DENT Ja­cob Zuma says the pro­posed law on Broad-based Black Eco­nomic Em­pow­er­ment (B-BBEE) Act will crim­i­nalise fronting and other forms of em­pow­er­ment mis­in­ter­pre­ta­tions.

De­liv­er­ing his state of the na­tion ad­dress on Thurs­day, Zuma said the amend­ments will es­tab­lish a statu­tory com­mis­sion that will deal with non-com­pli­ance and cir­cum­ven­tion.

Ac­cord­ing to the act, heads of gov­ern­ment de­part­ments and CEOS of paras­tatals have a “le­gal obli­ga­tion” to re­port on the per­for­mance of their in­sti­tu­tions in im­ple­ment­ing B-BBEE.

Some com­pa­nies have in­creased their chances of pro­cure­ment by fal­si­fy­ing their cre­den­tials.

Last year Zuma told a meet­ing of the Black Eco­nomic Em­pow­er­ment Ad­vi­sory Coun­cil that: “Fronting and ten­der abuse is an ‘ un­in­tended con­se­quence’ of an overem­pha­sis on di­ver­sity of own­er­ship and se­nior man­age­ment in im­ple­ment­ing B-BBEE.

“We are happy that the coun­cil spoke out so strongly against fronting, which is one of the ma­jor ob­sta­cles to the im­ple­men­ta­tion of B-BBEE,” he said.

“Fronting is an in­sult to the dig­nity of the poor and we have to act de­ci­sively against it.

“I am pleased that the coun­cil is so de­ter­mined to work with us to act against this heinous prac­tice,” said Zuma in a state­ment then.

The meet­ing agreed that fronting had to be erad­i­cated – pos­si­bly through puni­tive mea­sures against those found guilty of such prac­tices.

The coun­cil rec­om­mended that the gov­ern­ment should

“ur­gently en­sure proper mon­i­tor­ing and eval­u­a­tion ” of the im­ple­men­ta­tion of the Act.

Zuma also an­nounced that his gov­ern­ment was work­ing to­wards a women em­pow­er­ment and gen­der equal­ity bill to pro­mote com­pli­ance in both the gov­ern­ment and the pri­vate sec­tor.

He added: “With re­gard to is­sues of dis­abil­ity, we have di­rected all gov­ern­ment de­part­ments to en­sure that we meet the tar­get we set sev­eral years ago of hav­ing 2% of peo­ple em­ployed in the public ser­vice to be dis­abled per­sons.”

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