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Validity of B-BBEE Status in terms of you B-BBEE supplier certificate database.

As we are all well aware, the requirement as at present in determining the validity of a "BEE Certificate" in the market, is determined based on whether, or whether not the relevant BEE Certificate in question bares the SANAS Accreditation Symbol relevant to the B-BBEE Rating Agency (BRA) who issued the said certificate. The latter being applicable only to those suppliers not eligible for an **EME Certificate and/or *EME/QSE Enhanced Affidavit, as prescribed by the Codes, and/or relevant Sector Codes in effect.

Taking the above into account, in order for B-BBEE Rating Agency to be permitted to attach such a SANAS Accreditation Symbol to the certificates they issue, the B-BBEE Rating Agency would have been required to show full commitment & compliance in terms of their application of the R47-03 in relation to the Verification Processes carried out. The latter in-turn being tested by the accrediting body prior to issuing the B-BBEE Rating Agency with with their own accreditation symbol which may be attached to their own BEE Certificates issued, under the strict requirements as set forth by the accrediting body, and only for those Scopes of Accreditation the B-BBEE Rating Agency is accredited for.

Therefore, it goes without saying that any "B-BBEE Certificate" issued by any B-BBEE Rating Agency, or any other service provider for that matter, would be deemed invalid if the said document does not carry the SANAS Accreditation Symbol specific to the B-BBEE Rating Agency issuing the certificate in question.

*As for the validity of "Enhanced BEE Affidavits" as afforded by the Amended Codes of Good Practice & associated Sector Codes, these too would need to adhere to a certain set of requirements as set forth per the associated legislation relevant to the supplier in question.

However, when assessing your own B-BBEE Supplier base, there are a few key checks that can be undertaken in order to assess the validity of such Enhanced EME/QSE Affidavits, the latter summarized as follows:

  • The DTI & relevant Sector Councils have all released their own versions of the relevant Affidavits in question, thus these may differ slightly from supplier to supplier depending on the sector code applicable to their core operations, however it is important that the following components of any enhanced EME/QSE Affidavit are in place:

    • The Affidavit has been signed by a representative from the measured entity who is legally permitted to make such an affirmation (generally a Shareholder, Director, Trustee, etc.)

    • The Affidavit has been signed & stamped by an independent Commissioner of Oaths

    • The Affidavit is fully completed with no empty fillable areas and clearly indicates the name, registration number, nature of business, Black Ownership details, etc.

    • The Affidavit clearly reflects the financial period the supplier used in terms of completing the affidavit.

  • Any form of certificate, and/or report used to entirely replace the Affidavit referenced above, is not permitted and is deemed as being invalid. Any entity claiming an enhanced EME/QSE Status must support the latter with the appropriately completed & commissioned affidavit as referenced above.

**As for EME Certificates, these too would need to bare the SANAS Accreditation Logo of the B-BBEE Rating Agency who issued the document, however it is important to note that as at current an "EME Certificate" would only be applicable to those qualifying entities forming part of the Integrated Transport Sector, as well as certain entities operating within the Construction Sector. Currently, the legislation makes no further provision for entities operating outside of these sectors to be in possession of an "EME Certificate", and therefore the latter should be taken note of.

Taking the above into consideration, it is crucial to understand what exactly is permissible in terms constituting a "valid BEE Certificate" or "Affidavit", the latter even more so true when making the decision to take on a new Supplier who could potentially have a major influence on the annual qualifying Preferential Procurement spend, as calculated based on BEE Certificate status for scoring purposes.

Unfortunately there are still many invalid BEE Certificates floating around in the market, and therefore having the ability to make an informed decision on the validity of any BEE status set forth, by any potential supplier, shall prove to be a valuable asset in the long run, as well as offer peace of mind in terms of reaching your own procurement target spends.

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