BEE in the know

BEE in the Know – Edition 6

How B-BBEE is advancing black women

On 9 August 1956, more than 20 000 South African women of all races staged a march on the Union Buildings in protest against the proposed amendments to the Urban Areas Act of 1950, commonly referred to as the “pass laws”.

Their protest song, “Wathint’Abafazi Wathint’imbokodo!” inspired the phrase “you strike a woman, you strike a rock” and has come to symbolise the strength and power of women all over the world.

Sadly, reports this Women’s Month again show that women are paid between 15%-17% less than their male counterparts for the same work, and in many cases, are totally excluded from participating meaningfully in the formal economy. Historically, black women have fared even worse than others and hve been restricted to the informal sectors, due to a lack of resources, education and other social factors.

B-BBEE targets for women

The BEE Act of 2003 sought to address the imbalances of apartheid, focussing on bringing black people into the formal economy, with some specific emphasis on black women. The codes of good practice gazetted in 2007 introduced 7 elements – some of which indicated targets for the involvement of women in business, i.e. ownership, management control, employment equity, skills development and procurement.

Under these codes, a calculation called “recognition for gender” took care of targets for women as a percentage of the male target under the employment equity and skills development.

Under the amended codes gazetted in 2013 and effective in May 2015, the target for women ownership has remained at 10% and the targets under some elements have been firmed up and increased. The adjusted recognition for gender has been removed and substituted with specific targets and points for women under board and management levels.

There are no longer any specific targets for women under skills development, except under the overly complicated economically active population target calculation, however this generally works in favour of women.

The real value however, lies under the old preferential procurement element, now labelled enterprise and supplier development (ESD). This is where black women owned businesses are specifically being targeted for support. Support in terms of targets for purchasing from these companies and also in terms of developing those that are not yet considered up to scratch. Assistance and contributions given in order to increase their capacity, quality, systems, etc. so that they could meet the required standards would be measured under the enterprise development and supplier development sections.

The target for purchasing from 30% black women owned companies is 12% of purchases, in order to earn 4 points – 10% of the total points allocated to the ESD element, however this has a compound effect when you consider that this could also earn you points under almost every other section of the 7 sub-elements of the ESD requirements.

How does this work for you?

If you are a black women owned business, you are in a position of power – companies are actively looking to support and/or develop you.

If you are a white owned business and considering a black partner, a black woman is going to add maximum benefit to your BEE scorecard and could make you level more beneficial to your suppliers than a higher level with just white ownership.

For example:

If your BEE level is 6 – your customers will recognise 60% of their spend with you towards their own targets. However, if your level is 7 they will recognise a base of 50% – PLUS

  • a multiplier for black women ownership of 30% or more
  • another multiplier if there is more that 51% black ownership in total,
  • another if your business has a turnover below R50 million
  • a multiplier where there was a minimum 3 year contract with the customer,
  • plus recognition for any enterprise or supplier development contributions.

This could total many more points for your customer, making your business more competitive.

The power of women in the BEE codes is undeniable. We hope that the studies conducted for next Women’s Month show a closing of the gap, as companies strive to improve their BEE status through the involvement of one of our country’s most valuable resources – our women.

Research sources: Wikipedia, University of Johannesburg

Let ORT SA help you improve your B-BBEE scorecard

ORT South Africa, affiliated to World ORT is a non-profit, developmental organisation that believes in its philosophy, “Educating for Life”. In over 60 countries around the world, ORT changes people’s lives on a daily basis. Every year thousands of South Africans benefit from ORT SA by learning skills, growing or starting successful businesses and receiving cutting-edge training in Maths, Science, Technology and ICT.

Bongisani Lesotho completed an extra curricula 2-year course in Marketing with ORT South Africa in 2012 at his school in Springs, Gauteng. “The certification I received from the ORT SA Geared for Life programme served as a recommendation in my bursary application to university. They were so impressed at the interview that I had completed both the Marketing course and Matric at the same time that I was granted a bursary. I would never have been able to do this without the help of ORT SA.” Bongisani is now studying towards a BSc in Mathematics at an overseas university.

Theresa Mashaba has doubled her bottom-line at the Wellness Clinic she runs from her home in Soweto. “I never dreamed that there was so much to starting a business. I thought I would open my doors and people would just pour in. Now, with all this expertise through training and my wonderful ORT SA volunteer mentor, marketing material designed by ORT SA and significant public relations assistance, my business is thriving. Thank you ORT SA. My life has been turned around!”

Teacher, Maria Ramodike said at an ORT SA end-of-year event for over 200 teachers, “ORT SA has made us proud educators. You have made us dedicated, enthusiastic and hard-working. Indeed, I am proud to say that today, I am a Maths mentor. I help other colleagues to approach Mathematics positively and this has encouraged team work. Pupils are also enthusiastic to learn because they share the fun of learning Maths in the classroom. It makes them more creative and become creative thinkers; they can solve mathematical problems at an early stage.”

ORT SA can offer SE (Socio Economic Development) points through Teacher Empowerment and School Management Team programmes, SD (Skills Development) through Work Readiness courses, Computer Technology Training, Business Skills training and the New Venture Creation (NVC) modules. Under E & SD (Enterprise and Supplier Development), ORT SA offers its unique model of Business Training coupled with Volunteer Mentorship from business experts and captains of industry.

ORT SA is well-placed to assist companies to comply with the B-BBEE Code of Good Practice. By partnering with ORT SA companies can improve their B-BBEE Code of Good Practice. By partnering with ORT SA companies can improve their B-BBEE scorecard by up to 40 points.

ORT SA is a registered PBO and a Level 2 B-BBEE Contributor.

For more information, please contact the CEO of ORT SA, Ariellah Rosenberg on  or, telephone: 011 728 7154.

B-BBEE Management Software

The Amended Codes have seen significant complexity introduced into the way that B-BBEE scoring is calculated and assessed. Accordingly we have seen a huge demand for tools and systems that can assist businesses to manage and assess their B-BBEE scorecard compliance, strategies and transformation plans.

Sage BEE123

Sage BEE123 is South Africa’s leading B-BBEE software developer. We offer a complete range of tools, software, directories, information, training interventions and advisory services. Our clientbase is diverse and spans the full range of corporate South Africa from multinationals, JSE listed entities to family-owned businesses. Sage BEE123 is a division of Sage South Africa.

B-BBEE Management Software

The Sage B-BBEE Management System provides a revolutionary and cutting edge solution to B-BBEE compliance, ensuring that B-BBEE is easy to understand, plan, assess and implement.

The Sage BEE123 market leading turnkey B-BBEE Management Solution includes:

  1. scorecard software
  2. advisory
  3. implementation and
  4. support

For more detail, please click on the link below:

Grant Thornton – Special Discount

Since Grant Thornton Verification Services has a long-standing relationship with Sage BEE123, we have a secured a special 10% discount on the Sage BEE123 System for Grant Thornton Verification Services clients.

Should you require more information or would like a demo of the BEE123 Management System we will gladly facilitate this for you.

To set this up please contact Grant Thornton Verification Services on