Business

Mining charter falls short of BEE Act

Sapa

The mining charter in its current form betrays the principles of empowerment and should be aligned with the BEE Act, the Black Managent Forum said.

The mining charter in its current form betrays the principles of empowerment and should be aligned with the BEE Act. (AFP)

"We note with disappointment the fact that mining, a critical sector of the economy that employs 500 000 people, is the only industry that has made no attempt to align with the BEE Act and that the department of trade and industry has not publicly taken steps to address that," the organisation said on Sunday.

The BMF made its recommendations on the revised Broadbased Black Economic Empowerment (BBBEE) codes. The DTI on October 1 opened a 60-day period for comment on the revised BBBEE codes.

None of the mining companies has a BEE certificate, said the BMF. "Mining is the only sector of the economy where there is no requirement for independent verification of BBBEE contributions.

"It is the only sector that has made no attempt to align with the BEE Act," it said.

The organisation urged government to invest resources and capacity in monitoring the implementation of BBBEE on an ongoing basis.

"The proposed BEE Commission should have the resources and capacity to monitor and evaluate the implementation of BBBEE in the public and private sector on an ongoing basis."

The commission should also publish an annual report on the state of BBBEE within the public and private sectors. The Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) should also make it mandatory and part of listing requirements for companies to report on BBBEE implementation.

"The JSE must introduce BBBEE reporting guidelines to enable comparisons across sectors. Each listed company must publish its verification certificate and report for public scrutiny."

Non-compliant companies had to be published in a public register and had to have meaningful fines imposed on them. The BEE Act had to supersede all other laws and policy tools that sought to achieve economic transformation.

"It must be the country's trumping legal and policy framework. The DTI must lead and champion economic transformation ... it cannot also discard its responsibility for driving the implementation of employment equity."

All BEE verification agencies had to be fully transformed before they could verify the transformation of others. They should be "superior" contributors to BBBEE. – Sapa

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