Announcement of accreditation of Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) verification agencies
9 February 2009
9 February 2009 marks the second anniversary of the Department of Trade and Industry's (the DTI) gazetting of the Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (B-BBEE) codes of good practice. As we celebrate this momentous achievement, a number of strategic milestones in the implementation of B-BBEE should also be acknowledged. These include, but are not limited to, the gazetting of the B-BBEE Verification Manual and the B-BBEE information technology (IT) portal.
There is general recognition that substantial progress has been made to advance empowerment at all levels. We must continue to build on that.
As an institutional mechanism for the measurement of B-BBEE progress, the codes also provide guidance on and a framework for the accreditation of BEE verification agencies (VAs), which are integral to the monitoring of B-BBEE. In this regard DTI's collaboration and recognition of the association of verification agencies will ensure those that are accredited adhere to the latter and spirit of the codes in measuring B-BBEE.
Why the accreditation of B-BEE VAs?
It is important to note that the overall aim of accreditation is to instil confidence in entities that subject themselves to B-BEE verification, and establish a measurement of excellence against which agencies should strive, in terms of compliance with B-BEE criteria. Furthermore, this process serves to ensure the credibility, consistency and competence of the verification industry.
Accreditation of VAs
The DTI has made significant progress in accelerating the process of accrediting VAs. At present, 80 VAs have applied for accreditation. All the applicants are currently at various stages of the accreditation process, which entails document review, pre-assessment and final assessment.
Final assessments are still in progress and most of the VAs assessed have cleared their non-conformances. This is an ongoing process, which will eventually result in the accreditation of all VAs.
Today, as the DTI, we are excited to announce the first accredited BEE VAs in our economy. It should be noted that this is merely the first of many announcements to come. The DTI will continue to acknowledge VAs as they obtain accreditation.
In the interest of harmonising verification practices and ensuring consistent technical competence, all legal entities performing verification should undergo accreditation.
The names of the verification agencies that have successfully completed the South African National Accreditation System (SANAS) accreditation process are:
* BEE empowered,
* BEE matrix,
* BEE verification agency,
* Emex trust,
* National Empowerment Rating Agency (NERA) – Gauteng,
* NERA – KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) and
* NERA Western Cape.
The accredited verification agencies will submit information underlying each verification certificate to the DTI.
Full details are available on the websites of SANAS – http://www.sanas.co.za - and the DTI – http://www.thedti.gov.za - which will be continuously updated as other verification agencies successfully complete the accreditation process.
Mandisi Mpahlwa, MP
The Minister of Trade and Industry