On 6 May 2020, Property Point hosted the B-BBEE Commission in a webinar to discuss what B-BBEE will look like in the era of COVID-19. Various points were raised by the guests, one of them being about the perception of B-BBEE as an anti-white policy.
This bad stain on the legislation has been there for many years and was further fueled in the past week. The Department of Tourism was taken to court for the application of B-BBBE criteria in providing Covid-19 relief to small businesses in the sector. The department won the High Court judgement in a case that could be taken to the Constitutional Court.
B-BBEE Commissioner, Zodwa Ntuli, said that the sentiment of viewing B-BBEE as an anti-white policy is wrong. She added that people who still hold this sentiment, 26 years after democracy, do not have the best interest of the country at heart. She clarified that because the legislation is based on the constitution, it cannot be discriminatory but rather aims to drive inclusivity. Ntuli said that, if anything, B-BBEE aims to forester strategic partnerships.
She also alluded to the fact that if B-BBEE was anti-white, there would not be compliance levels. Meaning that the targets set by the B-BBEE scorecard still allow for white people to participate in corporations and the economy. That allows for businesses with a level 8 B-BBEE certificate, for instance, to still access opportunities. She said that the issue is with companies that go to verification agencies and simply request a non-compliant certificate. She condemned non-compliance and pleaded with companies to do what they can to comply with B-BBEE even during lockdown.
She said that B-BBEE gives us an opportunity as a country to create an inclusive economy.