An entity’s BEE score and related status is measured either under the generic BEE Codes of Good Practice, or under specific sector codes, which generally address industry specific empowerment challenges.
In October 2013, the revised generic BEE Codes were gazetted, and all sector charter councils were required to submit aligned draft sector codes to the Minister of Trade and Industry by 15 November 2015. The Construction Sector Charter Council (CSCC) missed this deadline, and in February 2016 the DTI repealed the existing Construction Sector Codes with immediate effect. The implications for this are that all entities previous falling within the scope of the Construction Sector Codes must now be measured in terms of the generic BEE Codes.
With the recognised need for an industry specific BEE framework, after months of intense alignment negotiations among industry representatives, the CSCC revealed the summarised contents of the revised draft Construction Sector Codes. It is assumed that the DTI will publish the draft codes for public scrutiny and comments, and it is anticipated that, following due process, the revised Construction Sector Codes will be in force in the first half of 2017.
The draft sector codes are aligned to the generic BEE Codes, but there are various aspects which differ:
When the 2009 Construction Sector Code was gazetted, there was a 12-month transitional period for phasing in and implementation. However, this revised construction sector code does not make any provision for a transitional period.
Scope of Application
In contrast to the 2009 construction sector code, the revised draft now defines the scope of application while also including three segments of the value chain, namely:
- The built environmental professionals;
- The contractors and general build; and
- The manufacturers and suppliers of building material, equipment and plant hire.
National Priority Imperatives
The revised CSC takes into account and incorporates principles and objectives embedded in various government policy instruments and frameworks regarding growth, job creation, skills development, transformation, and standardisation of industry methods.
- BEE Ownership – this is set at 32.5%, increasing to 35% after four years of the codes being promulgated;
- No ‘Once Empowered Always Empowered’ ownership provision
- Acceleration of black management recognition in all echelons of construction companies and firms by black women appointees;
- Incentivisation for small business to also contribute to industry priorities – skills development and enterprise development.
- Increased contractor and supplier development of emerging small contractors through decisive procurement transformation; and
- Facilitation of an increased pipeline of professional expertise through skills development and enhancement.
- Opportunity to leverage more bonus points when they commit spend on initiatives that are a priority to construction sector designated beneficiaries such as black women, the youth, people with disabilities and construction workers.
Only once the amended Codes are gazetted and fully in force will the real work of measuring construction sector transformation and the impact of this revised framework begin.
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