Gauteng Business News

Send  Share  RSS  Twitter  07 Oct 2009

: BEE Could Provide Sustainability for SA’s Economic Growth


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As South Africa seeks to drastically grow its economy while staying in step with international trends, black economic empowerment as a growth tool has become intrinsically linked up with sustainability as a business imperative.

Company directors today must realise that government, strategy and sustainability have become inseparable. And tied in with that, BEE offers exactly the kind of strategy framework that can create unparalleled growth for South Africa....if it is done correctly.
“Whether you are a BEE director or any other director, sustainability is a critical issue for governance and strategy that needs to be included in one’s long-term strategic thinking,” says King. “The fact that these three elements have become inseparable is a cornerstone of the King III report.”
King says in a number of countries businesses are already required by law to report on how they impact on the society in which they operate in and on the environment, and that it has become a critical issues.
“It’s also in the King Report and will become a listing requirement next year,” he says.
“From a sustainability point of view,” says Bizzell, “we can sustain a small economy, but we can’t sustain a growth in the economy because we don’t have the infrastructure to support that growth. The plan that BEE introduces, is an economic growth tool. It is how we are going to grow the economy from 7-milliion people participating in the money flow, through to 30-million people.”
Bizzell, a leading BEE consultant who developed 'sustainable BEE' as a trademarked approach to economic growth of the South African economy, says this has not happened in many countries. In the few like Brazil, China and the Philippines where it has happened, he says there was “no framework as well defined and designed as South Africa’s black economic empowerment codes of good practice”.
Bizzell poses the question whether BEE is going to be “the problem child”, or the “framework for growth that we work with”. He says BEE is asking that companies start looking at transformation beyond mere compliance if they are going to grow bigger sustainably and be part of the growth of the country.
“If we understand what the BEE framework is about, we will understand that socio-economic development is developing the entry-level skills to satisfy the needs of the market, and enterprise development is creating the jobs to absorb those skills that are being developed at the entry level.”
He says that once the skills and the jobs, that are going help grow the economy and the number of people participating in it, have been created, and once they have been absorbed into a company, skills development, employment equity, and management control - three of the elements on the BEE scorecard - will drive people through the organisation and out possibly into their own businesses into eventual ownership.
“So it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy that once you get this going, and people understand it, it will result in the kind of economic growth that most countries have never seen before,” says Bizzell.

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