Black Economic Empowerment

Black Economic Empowerment​

The BEE (Black Economic Empowerment) initiative was launched by the South African Government to fast-track the uplifting of previously disadvantaged sectors of the country’s population.

BEE seeks to promote new opportunities for and to increase the levels of participation of, previously disadvantaged individuals and companies in the ownership, management, and control of economic activities.

Legislation was enacted to regulate and promote the application and implementation of BEE programs and opportunities as summarized below.

Broad-based Black Economic Empowerment Act 53 of 2003

Broad-based Black Economic Empowerment means the economic empowerment of all black people, including women, workers, the youth, those with disabilities and the inhabitants of rural areas, through diverse but integrated socio-economic strategies. These include, but are not limited to:

  • increasing the number of black people who manage, own and control enterprises and productive assets;
  • facilitating ownership and management of enterprises and productive assets by communities, workers, co-operatives and other collective enterprises;
  • human resource and skills development;
  • achieving equitable representation in all occupational categories and levels in the workforce;
  • preferential procurement; and
  • investment in enterprises that are owned or managed by black people.

The intention of the BBBEE Act is to redress the imbalances of the past.

It was enacted to promote the achievement of the constitutional right to equality (as set out in the clause on equality in the Constitution).

The purpose is to increase broad-based and effective participation of black people in the economy and to promote a higher growth rate, increased employment, and more equitable income distribution.

Codes of Good Practice

The purpose of the Codes of Good Practice is to assist and advise both the public and private sectors in their implementation of the objectives of the Broad-based Black Economic Empowerment Act.

The codes provide principles and guidelines to facilitate and accelerate the implementation of broad-based BEE in a meaningful and sustainable manner.

The Employment Equity Act, No 55 of 1998

The purpose of this act is to achieve equity in the workplace by promoting equal opportunity and fair treatment in employment through the elimination of unfair discrimination and the implementation of affirmative action measures to redress the employment disadvantages experienced by designated groups. The goal is to ensure their equitable representation in all occupational categories and levels in the workforce.

The Preferential Procurement Policy Framework Act, No 5 of 2000

The Preferential Procurement Policy Framework Act, No 5 of 2000 (PPPFA) and its regulations, provide a framework within which persons disadvantaged by unfair discrimination must be advanced once an organ of state implements a policy of preferential procurement.

Skills Development Act, No 97 of 1998

The Skills Development Act aims to develop the skills of the South African workforce and to improve the quality of life of workers and their prospects for work. The intention is to improve productivity in the workplace and the competitiveness of employers and to promote self-employment.

The Minerals and Petroleum Resources Development Act 28 of 2002

The Minerals and Petroleum Resources Development Act (MPRDA), was promulgated in May 2004 and became law in May 2005. The act recognises the state’s sovereignty and custodianship over the country’s mineral resources and provides for equitable access to mineral resources, opportunities for historically disadvantaged South Africans (HDSAs), economic growth, employment and socio-economic welfare, and security of tenure. Meaningful and substantial participation of HDSAs in the mining sector is guided by principles contained in the Broad-based Socio-economic Empowerment Mining Charter. A Scorecard for the Mining Charter has been introduced to facilitate its application in terms of the requirements of the MPRDA, for the conversion of all the old order mining rights into new rights.