Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (B-BBEE) sometimes gets a bad rap. Whether it’s accusations of fronting, or being referred to as an additional tax with no return on, or even accusations of theft, it would seem that, for some, the pervasive feeling on B-BBEE is that it’s not worth the paper it’s written on.
Angie Lanham-Love, CEO of Lanham-Love Consulting, finds this point of view particularly frustrating. “If I have a problem with B-BBEE, it’s that most people simply do not understand it. It’s not about “taking”,” says Lanham-Love. “B-BBEE – if done correctly – is not only an investment in your people and your business: it’s an investment in the future of South Africa.”
Due to the systemic exclusion of African, India and Coloured peoples from Apartheid South Africa, the majority of South Africa’s population was prevented from meaningful participation in the economy of our country. “B-BBEE seeks to redress the wrongs of the past, by incentivising existing businesses to contribute to the upliftment of those previously disadvantaged,” says Lanham-Love. “Properly managed, these incentives are hugely beneficial to the companies capable of meeting the requirements of B-BBEE.”
“And enabling your company to meet those requirements is where Lanham-Love Consulting’s decades of experience really pay off,” says Lanham-Love.
The Department of Trade and Industry puts it particularly succinctly: “South Africa’s policy of black economic empowerment (B-BBEE) is not simply a moral initiative to redress the wrongs of the past. It is a pragmatic growth strategy that aims to realise the country’s full economic potential while helping to bring the black majority into the economic mainstream.”1
“For far too long,” says Lanham-Love, “B-BBEE has been seen as some kind of “charitable project”. Too many companies see investment in B-BBEE as a cost of doing business in South Africa. And I believe that this is entirely the wrong way to look at it.”
“Frankly, B-BBEE is just good business, if you can get past the short-term thinking that can only see what it costs – not what it’s worth. By investing in upskilling your employees, you invest in your business – by ensuring continuity, forward planning and even, more basically, having competent teammates who can more fully contribute to making your business better,” says Lanham-Love.
“On a more macro level, more educated, gainfully employed people means more customers for your business, more room in the market for your business to grow, more space for subsidiary and complementary business to develop and create a kind of ‘business ecology’, and, overall, a better economy. Simple, really,” says Lanham Love.
If you want to know more about how Lanham-Love Consulting can make Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment less of a cost and more of an investment in your business, contact us today.