The B-BBEE Commission resolved that the organisers of the Fronting Seminar with the title “FRONTING HAS A LEGAL ZONE. LET US SHOW YOU WHERE IT IS” planned for 26 October 2016 at the Centurion Lake Hotel in Gauteng, must cancel the seminar, and immediately refund all individuals that have registered for the seminar.
After being alerted by concerned members of the public, the B-BBEE Commission last week wrote to the organisers of the Fronting Seminar and expressed its concerns about the proposed seminar, and advised the organisers to present themselves for a meeting regarding the seminar. The B-BBEE Commission met with the organisers, founder of Axidex, Mr Dries Visser and Ms Michelle Laarman the Operations Director at Innoven Consulting CC, who cooperated and duly presented themselves to the B-BBEE Commission today, 29 August 2016.
Axidex and Innoven Consulting are responsible for planning, arranging and executing the upcoming Fronting Seminar. After perusing the details on the website www.frontingseminar.co.za, the B-BBEE Commission had noticed aspects that appear contrary to the objectives of the B-BBEE Act. The information on the website stated amongst other things that “Fronting has a legal zone. Let us show you where it is”, and further outlined the content of the seminar as seemingly seeking to give pointers on how to practice fronting in a manner that is safe.
According to the Acting Commissioner, Ms Zodwa Ntuli, “fronting is a criminal offence in terms of section 130(d) of the B-BBEE Act, which is punishable with up to 10 years imprisonment. Therefore, any session, whether training, seminar or conference, purporting to teach or show people how to practice fronting safely goes against the objectives of the B-BBEE Act. Any person engaging in such a session clearly obstructs the performance of the duties of the B-BBEE Commission, and perpetuates circumvention. It is unacceptable to seek to give people pointers on how to get away with murder, which is a crime.
In the meeting the B-BBEE Commission outlined its responsibility, which is to monitor and oversee the implementation of the B-BBEE Act in the interest of the public as outlined in section 13F of the B-BBEE Act. This includes investigating non-compliance and acting against fronting practices.
The B-BBEE Commission found the title of the seminar, and its contents not only to be misleading to the public, but also perpetuating fronting practices. “We appreciate that the public has become vigilant in safeguarding the objectives of B-BBEE, and acted with speed to alert the B-BBEE Commission on this matter. While we appreciate and encourage education and awareness by others regarding the requirements of B-BBEE, we will not tolerate sessions that appear to encourage fronting in any way,” added Ntuli.
As a result of the intervention and the meeting, it was resolved that the organisers would cancel the seminar and issue a public statement to this effect. Further, the B-BBEE Commission resolved that Axidex and Innoven Consulting CC will refund all person(s) who have paid the R2, 450.00 registration fee by close of business on 30 August 2016, and provide the B-BBEE Commission with proof of such.
The B-BBEE Commission is considering the matter further, and engaging with the two entities, and will consider the provisions of the B-BBEE Act to bring this matter to a conclusion.