Black empowerment course on the cards

31 March 2003
TO HELP executives, professionals and public officials keep up with the latest developments in the national economic policy arena, the Graduate School of Business has developed an executive short course on Black Economic Empowerment (BEE), to be run in June.

The course is the first in South Africa to provide an integrated approach to BEE strategy and implementation and follows government's renewed commitment to accelerating the pace of BEE. In his recent State of the Nation address, President Thabo Mbeki earmarked BEE as one of the government's top ten tasks for the year ahead.

GSB senior lecturer and convenor of the BEE course, Loyiso Mbabane, said that the government had a given clear signal that BEE legislative measures would be introduced shortly.

“Many challenges continue to face managers who are grappling with implementation inter alia, of the Skills Development Act and the Employment Equity Act. By the end of the year employers may well find themselves having to comply with BEE requirements, too.”

However, Mbabane said that the threat of legislation should not be the key factor compelling business to comply with BEE, since there were solid business reasons for going this route.

“Corporate and state executives should develop their own BEE strategies and implement them as a business imperative in order to ensure sustainable and broad-based economic growth and development,” Mbabane said.

“BEE needs to be approached as a business and a political imperative, vital to the country's cohesion and prosperity. However, as with every transformation and development initiative, government must play its role in shaping the vision and in providing and enabling framework and associated policy guidelines.”

The GSB course will take participants through the evolution of BEE policy, from the BEE Commission's recommendations and their applicability, to the latest government proposals on BEE. Participants will also be taken through the industry charters on BEE.

Mbabane is particularly well placed to convene the course. As former executive director of both the Black Economic Commission and the Black Business Council, he has extensive understanding of the concerns and proposals of the black business community around BEE as well as economic transformation in South Africa.

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