The Director responsible for Compliance at the Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (B-BBEE) Commission, Ms Busisiwe Ngwenya says B-BBEE community education and participation is very key and crucial for those who are still establishing themselves as business people. Ngwenya was speaking at an information session hosted in Esikhawini, Kwazulu-Natal, today.
The information session was intended to raise awareness and educate the community on the B-BBEE Act, the role of the Commission and to guide stakeholders on possible pitfalls and how to circumvent them.
“Educational programmes and community participation can benefit small businesses that were unaware of all economical benefits that government policies provide, especially those that are associated with Black Empowerment. This also eliminates concerns of middle-men who have access to this information, but go back to the community and sell that information when they could have accessed it for free,” said Ngwenya.
She added that the B-BBEE policy was not narrow based and had other angles that seek to benefit start-ups, small medium micro enterprises, women and youth. Ngwenya said entrepreneurs should know that it covers more than procurement.
Mr Siphosethu Sithole who owns a scrapyard and car service in Esikhawini, said as a black business owner around the area it has been very difficult to understand how the B-BBEE policy could benefit entrepreneurs in the service sector and other industries. “With the newly established Commission we hope all the issues we had with B-BBEE will be resolved and everyone will have access to all economic benefits that it provides. The B-BBEE policy education is also long overdue. One can’t be a business owner and only associate the policy with tenders, after all these years that it has been around,” said Sithole.
He urged the Commission to also educate those who are working in government especially in local Municipalities so that information or any changes in the policy can be easily accessible to those who need it.