B-BBEE Certificates and Verification Agencies

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In order for Qualifying Small Enterprises (QSEs) — with an annual revenue of between R10 and R50 million per annum — to acquire a B-BBEE Certificate, they should be verified by all five elements on the revised BEE Scorecard by a Verification Agency (VA) of their choice. A list of accredited Verification Agencies is available through the South African National Accreditation System (SANAS).

Exempted Micro Enterprises (EMEs) and start-up businesses — with an annual revenue of under R10 million — do not need VAs for B-BBEE Certificates, as an auditor’s certificate or similar certificate (template on the SME Toolkit) issued by an accounting officer can serve as their B-BBEE Certificate. As long as the EME template is signed or endorsed by an accounting officer or accountant, it must be accepted as sufficient proof of B-BBEE compliance by all private companies, government departments, public entities and non-governmental organizations operating in the SA economy.

With that being said, EMEs are, however, EMEs still required to annually obtain and submit a sworn affidavit confirming their turnover and the percentage of black owners.

How to become a Verification Agency

In order to bring credibility to the verification process, the Department of Trade and Industry (dti) appointed SANAS to develop accreditation standards for Verification Agencies. The process resulted in the release of the Verification Manual by the dti in July 2008, and the SANAS B-BBEE Verification Agencies Accreditation resources which together provide the market with guidelines to verification and accreditation. 

To become a Verification Agency, any enterprise (public and private entities, including auditors, accountants, lawyers, business associations, sector charter councils, consultants, etc) must apply to SANAS, in writing, for accreditation as a Verification Agency.

Verification serves the following purposes:

  • To give confidence to all parties that rely upon the score set out in the B-BBBEE verification certificate that the information it contains has been tested for validity and accuracy, and
  • To provide an assurance of the integrity of the information on which the verification is based.

For more information on application for accreditation, please visit the SANAS website or call 012 394-3760.

Equity Equivalent Programmes for multinationals

The Equity Equivalent Programmes (EEs) are programmes designed to enable enterprises to indirectly fulfill the requirements of B-BBEE Ownership.

The B-BBEE Codes of Good Practice require that all entities operating in South Africa make a contribution towards B-BBEE through the sale of shares to black South Africans. However, there are internationally-owned companies whose global practices prevent them from doing this. Such enterprises need to apply to the Minister of Trade and Industry for approval to enter the EE Programmes in order to qualify for Ownership points on the Scorecard.

EE Programmes are expected to contribute towards the achievement of:

  • Enterprise creation and development;
  • Foreign direct investment;
  • Accelerated empowerment of black rural women and youth;
  • Sustainable growth and development;
  • Human development with a focus on education and skills development; and
  • Infrastructure investment with an emphasis on developing the country’s research and development infrastructure.

For more information on application for EE Programmes, please visit the dti website or phone 012 394-1609.

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