Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment

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Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) is a process driven by Government through legislation and policy, which aims to remedy historical racial imbalances and achieve economic transformation by increasing the number of black people who participate in the mainstream South African economy.

BEE is fundamental to economic activity in South Africa and encourages the opening up of the economy to those previously excluded by the system of apartheid through a mix of economic persuasion and incentive.

The Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996 (Constitution), provides a constitutional mandate for BEE, as it authorises measures aimed at advancing categories of persons disadvantaged by unfair discrimination.

The Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment Act, No. 53 of 2003 (B-BBEE Act), was promulgated in April 2004. It does not set any targets for BEE but rather provides a framework for the implementation of BEE initiatives and for the Minister of Trade and Industry to publish Codes of Good Practice (Generic Codes).

Enterprises that require licences, concessions or authorisations from the State; wish to provide goods and services to organs of State or public entities; wish to acquire State-owned enterprises; or wish to enter into partnerships with the State, must provide evidence of their B-BBEE status as measured under the Generic Codes.

“BEE is fundamental to economic activity in South Africa and encourages the opening up of the economy to those previously excluded by the system of apartheid through a mix of economic persuasion and incentive.”

For a comprehensive document outlining the implications of this area of law in South Africa
click here.​​​

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