BEE, or more accurately Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (BBBEE) is the process by which the government is trying to ensure economic equity amongst race groups.
The act is intended to encourage transformation by including black people in the economy. It covers aspects such as equity ownership (shares in the business), management of the business, skills development, employment equity (staffing), procurement (where you purchase your supplies), enterprise development and corporate social responsibility.
The act itself is very short! It consists of only 5 pages and effectively all it says is that Government must commit itself to BBBEE. It also says that the measurement of BBBEE effectiveness must be set up and defined by the minister of trade and industry.
The minister set up a task group to try to work out a methodology of measuring BEE compliancy. This methodology is known “The Codes of Good Practice”. These codes cover all aspects of BBBEE, from ownership to management, employment equity, skills development, preferential procurement, enterprise development and a residual element (social investment or contributions to charity).
The codes take into account the size of the business and allow for multi-national companies to comply without necessarily having to sell equity. The codes of good practice were gazetted on 9th February 2007 as is officially gazette number 29617.