It has been announced that Ms. Zodwa Ntuli will be the BEE Commissioner but until her appointment is confirmed, she will hold the title of Acting Commissioner. Previously, she held a position of Deputy Director in the dti. Department spokesman Charles Mnisi was reported by BD Live as saying last Friday that that the Commission should be up and running next year after issues, including its independence, have been clarified
Ms Ntuli, who addressed stakeholders on Friday, said the commission had been set up as a centre that could play an oversight role and monitor BEE compliance.
In an early statement to stakeholders Ms Ntuli said “Our review has revealed that the monitoring of transformation was not conducted diligently. We therefore must ensure that the Commission closes this gap. B-BBEE cannot continue to be applied in pockets, haphazardly and when people feel like it. We must be able to constantly measure the economic value of BEE transactions and verify whether they are measurable against the National Development Plan imperative of reducing poverty, unemployment and inequality.”
She added ““Fronting as a practice started off on a small scale and continued unabated to the point that it became sort of a norm. Fronting has now become so complex and sophisticated, and made part and parcel of many BEE deals as if it is a legitimate practice. The Commission will focus on eradicating this practice, but more importantly it will focus on putting measures in place to prevent such practice going forward.”
Black Management Forum president Mncane Mthunzi welcomed Zodwa’s appointment and added that “she’s familiar with the processes and legislation."
Mantis hopes that the BEE Commissioner will not be preoccupied with politically convenient issue such as Fronting to the exclusion of the significant issues that are currently hindering transformation such as legislative confusion, government non-compliance, affidavits based BEE Certificates and BEE complexity.
And the BEE Commissioner may be facing a new phenomena of a growing resistance to the Amended Codes as the private sector begins to appreciate their impact and to query their cost in a time of difficult business conditions. Government procurement and licencing practices may be an insufficient force to drive the new BEE codes forward generally in this business climate!