16 February 2009
The Department of Trade and Industry and the South African National Accreditation System have awarded certificates to the country’s first 11 black economic empowerment (BEE) verification agencies.
The ceremony in Pretoria last week marked the start of a fundamental change in the history of BEE verification.
According to the department, the overall aim of accreditation is to instil confidence in entities that subject themselves to empowerment verification, and establish a measurement of excellence against which agencies should strive, in terms of compliance with empowerment criteria.
DTI empowerment chief director Nomonde Mesatywa added that the awarding of certificates was a milestone in the evolution of BEE, as 11 companies were part of the first group of verification agencies to have fulfilled all the accreditation requirements.
Empowerment accreditation status
The agencies that have acquired empowerment accreditation status are: BEE Empowered, BEE Matrix, BEE Verification Agency, DRGSiyaya, Emex Trust, Empowerdex, Empwerlogic, Honeycomb, National Empowerment Rating Agency (Nera) Gauteng, Nera KwaZulu-Natal, and Nera Western Cape.
“We congratulate those companies and trust that this will give credence to the verification process,” Mesatywa said.
“This represents the beginning of a phase in empowerment that will be marked by credibility, reliability, impartiality and the harmonisation of policies, procedures, guidelines, and standards, thus creating a credible and regulated environment for measuring, monitoring and evaluating broad-based empowerment.”
She added that this was an ongoing process, which would be refined in order to ensure that accreditation of other agencies was expedited.
Emex trustee Mella Msiza said her company had leant a great deal from the process as a BEE scorecard and supplier verification agency: “As a new company, we are excited that we were afforded an equal opportunity to acquire skills that would enable us to make a livelihood and also empower our communities, by transferring this skill to them.
“And we are now more competitive, as opposed to when we started – we now meet the standards set by the South African National Accreditation System.”
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