Black Economic Empowerment laws: 'white women will no longer count' says BEE-manager Andile Tlhoaele - but claim denied by Trade and Industry Minister:
2011-12-21 - Great confusion has arisen over proposed amendments to the socalled 'broad-based black economic empowerment Act' which already bars the vast majority of white males from accessing the labour market - in government service and outside.
BEE-expert Andile Tlhoaele told the news media that the changes ' will drastically reduce white women and handicapped people's ability to find work." His claim has caused great upset amongst the Afrikaner community in particular because Afrikaner women have now become the mainstay for family incomes: with the males not being allowed to get jobs in South Africa, it's now completely up to Afrikaner women to support their families.
He said companies who hired white women in the past to 'boost their company's SEB-grades' will no longer get any extra points for doing so."
Tlhoaele, a member of a sub-committee of the presidential BEE advisory committee, has a very strange job: he actually owns a 'private company' called BEEandyouBusiness.com, which 'advises on the BEE-grading-systems which allow businesses to keep on doing business with the government ."
Tlhoaele's job thus is very reminiscent of those held by nazi-officials in Europe before 1994 who closed down companies for hiring Jews before the nazi-regime's occupation of Europe was ended by the Allied Forces.
However the Minister of Trade and Industry Dr. Rob Davies denies the claim by Tlhoaele - but his denial is couched in such officialese language that he doesn't make it any clearer.
He was quoted as saying: “the definition in the current Broad-Based BEE Act of black people is a generic term, which means Africans, Coloureds and Indians. The current (amendment) bill does not propose to change the beneficiaries of BEE at all,” Davies said.
Tlhoaele however had told the news media something alarming which he later denied, namely that 'in future when a white and a black woman apply for a post, the possibility is very strong that the black woman will get the job because it will gain more SEB-points for them'.
This change in the law was very quietly published in the Government Gazette/Staatscourantt earlier this month - and the public was given only 60 days to comment on it.
The other changes also include a very specific definition for a 'black person' - and also important will be the new change that any company or business who trades in anything, will now have to pay auditors who will determine their SEB-grades before the certificate can be issued.
Company directors who are 'dishonest in attempting to gain higher SEB-grades can face imprisonment or heavy fines,' warned Tlhoaele.
Solidarity trade union executive deputy head Dr Dirk Hermann said in response to Tlhoaele's claims that 'it seems clear from the latest changes 'that it will only be a question of time before Indians and people of colour will also start being discriminated under this law.'
"The more the government tries to regulate black-empowerment, the less black entrepreneurs start up businesses. They figure the government will 'empower' them which means they don't have to do it themselves,' he said.
He said on the other hand one also sees an interesting trend developing amongst Afrikaners who were kicked out of their government- and company-jobs because of BEE.
Many have become much more entrepreneurial, he said.
He expressed deep concern about handicapped people who used to get a kickstart through the previous law but who now are completely excluded from any extra help to access the labour-market.
Solidarity and AfriForum have both indicated that they will take the government to court about this latest change in BEE-laws.
There should be just as much fuss made about this latest discriminatory legal amendment as there was about the Information Act,” he pointed out.
However it has been seen this year that the ANC-regime ignores orders issued even by the highest courts of the land: and that despite the massive national and international uproar about the very restrictive Information Act, the ANC-regime went ahead with it anyway.
However the Minister of Trade and Industry Dr. Rob Davies denies the claim by Tlhoaele.
He said “the definition in the current Broad-Based BEE Act of black people is a generic term, which means Africans, Coloureds and Indians.
The current (amendment) bill does not propose to change the beneficiaries of BEE at all,” Davies said.
The controversy was started by a report in The New Age newspaper, which said that, according to the bill, companies would no longer receive BEE grading for appointing white women and people with disabilities.
It quoted Andile Tlhoaele, a member of a sub-committee of the presidential BEE advisory committee, as saying the bill eliminated all whites, including the disabled. “The definition of black people is now clear and aligned with the constitution,” he reportedly said.
However, Tlhoaele told Business Report this week: “Before this amendment, there were disparities between the law and the generic codes, which allowed companies to abuse the system to score BEE points.
“I did not say that the bill will now strictly harm white women and people with disabilities. Maybe The New Age took my interview out of context for their own purposes.”
The bill, which was gazetted on December 7 and gives the public 60 days to comment, introduces specific statutory offences involving fronting and other forms of fraudulent misrepresentation of BEE status and includes the specification of penalties and blacklisting of companies for those offences.
The new definition of black people under the Amended Act is: : by the substitution for the definition of "black people" of the following
definition: ""Black People" [is a generic term which] means Africans, Coloureds, and Indians who are citizens of the Republic of South Africa by birth or descent or who became citizens of the Republic of South Africa by
naturalisation-(a) before 27 April1994; or (b) on or after 27 April 1994 and who would have been entitled to acquire citizenship by naturalisation prior to that date but were precluded from doing so by Apartheid policies:":
(c) by the substitution for the definition of "broad based black economic empowerment" of the following definition: ""broad based black economic empowerment" means the sustainable economic empowerment of all black people, [ jncluding] in particular women, workers, youth, people with disabilities and people living in rural areas, through diverse but integrated· socio-economic strategies that include, but are not limited to:-
(a) increasing the number of black people that manage, own and control enterprises and productive assets;