Updated: Oct 5, 2020
BusinessFit returned from a further successful trip to the United Kingdom (UK). The purpose was to provide UK audiences with a deeper and more meaningful understanding of the structure and intention of Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (B-BBEE).
David White and Bruce Lennon, both directors at BusinessFit, have a close working relationship through their companies: DRG Outsourcing and Stimela Consulting respectively. DRG providing human resource (HR) administration and compliance related services, and Stimela providing B-BBEE administration and strategy development services.
As the B-BBEE scorecard largely comprises activities related to HR and small and medium enterprise (SME) development, they have a lot in common. They work together daily on similar client challenges and assist business leaders and their teams with best practices in both HR and B-BBEE. The outcome of their work being to help companies comply with administrative and reporting requirements and building solid and sustainable transformation programmes.
Mike Miller, president of Maidenhead Chamber and past president of the South African Chamber of Commerce in London (SACC) recognised that there was limited knowledge available on B-BBEE in the UK, and that there was still much ignorance around the B-BBEE scorecard. Mike travelled to South Africa in 2019 and had the benefit of speaking with KZN business leaders on B-BBEE. He felt that a B-BBEE roadshow to the UK would help to dispel many negative connotations and unfavourable outcome expectation myths.
Mike's request to David and Bruce was for them to travel to the UK to share understanding and practical knowledge on the B-BBEE Act and its associated Codes of Good Practice, and to answer questions relating to the subject. Bruce, as many will concur, is a competent resource in the area of helping companies with their internal B-BBEE transformation programmes. He knows the B-BBEE scorecard backwards, having advised and assisted companies in their transformation strategies and file preparations for the past 16 years. People would say, and I am sure Bruce would agree, that he is in his happy place when consulting on the subject, drawing charts and pictures, and driving transformation agendas.
Bruce says, "It starts with people understanding the elements, and each of the category weightings within the B-BBEE Scorecard". He said, "Once people gain a basic understanding of the Codes, and begin to see the thought and detail in each of the elements, they immediately see how the Scorecard is having a positive influence on upskilling people through training and development and creating opportunities for SMEs in organisation's supply chains. Once people understand the structure and intention of the Codes, organisational transformation and decision making by company leaders becomes a whole lot easier."
Bruce was up to the challenge and spoke with audiences at both the Chamber in Maidenhead and the High Commission in London. Both presentations, erupted into lively discussions, with Bruce shining as he shared his knowledge and experience on the subject. The audiences included senior representatives of government, business leaders, heads of UK organisations with operations in SA, and many other influential and interested persons.
The greatest moment was at the South African High Commission, when Her Excellency, Nomatemba Tambo, the SA High Commissioner to the UK, introduced B-BBEE, its purpose and intention. In David's words, "Nomatemba (Tembi as she is known) was clear, direct and purposeful, demonstrating her broad understanding of the challenges SA people are overcoming through the supportive role B-BBEE is playing." He said, "Tembi is someone who clearly sees the big picture, and we are fortunate to have such a great lady supporting and leading transformation." Tembi introduced Bruce and gave thanks to Mike and the SACC for arranging BusinessFit to come forward and share this valuable knowledge with UK audiences.
Bruce took both audiences through a general introduction to B-BBEE, and spoke in detail on the various role players, the B-BBEE Commission, Enterprise Categories, Black Ownership, the Sector Codes; and the five B-BBEE elements. He provided a full explanation of the B-BBEE Act and Codes, together with practical examples in respect of each of the elements. Bruce, an accomplished speaker, provided clarity on each point, and answered questions with huge interest and enthusiasm.
David and Bruce share the same passion for transformation and the growth of our economy, and they said they really enjoyed meeting and sharing knowledge
with the many SA and UK people they met on the trip. David and Bruce said that there were times when they felt they were representing SA, out there under
their own steam, stretching out elbows of greeting to people and organisations, telling them that SA is an important country to have trade relations with... and to get on board through understanding B-BBEE and its structured transformation culture.
But it was not all work. David and Bruce attended the SACC Gala Dinner at the House of Lords as well. The dinner is a grand black-tie affair of enormous proportion. The invitation to attend came through none other than the Right Honourable Lord Peter Hain, and what followed was a magnificent evening of fine
dining, great SA wine, laughter and song, with music from Vani Entertainment. Her Excellency, Nomatemba Tambo and Sharon Constancon, the SACC chairman welcomed guests, and Ivan Gardiner addressed the guests on leadership. It was a splendid evening, and as Bruce said, "An overwhelming reward for all the hard work of the trip."
From all at Top Business, we are proud to support the work BusinessFit does in the many areas of transformation in which they work. "Go team, you certainly are making a positive contribution to the SA economy."
For more information contact:
David White, Chairman, BusinessFit
T: +27 (0)31 767 0625