Archive for January, 2010
Today is the last working day that “non-accredited” verification agencies are entitled to verify BEE certificates.
According to the minister’s last notice in July 2009, from end of January only accredited agencies or those in possession of a valid pre-assessment letter will be able to issue valid certificates. Prior to this “non-accredited” agencies were entitled to issue verified certificates.
There are currently 27 accredited agencies and 8 agencies in possession of a pre-assessment letter. Of those 8, 5 have letters expiring in February.
This small group is expected to perform verification of the entire population of companies that want a verified certificate. It takes an individual analyst at least a day, and sometimes a lot longer to perform verification.
At the same time no agency is entitled to verify scorecards of companies in the tourism, construction, forestry and transport industries because they have their own sector code, and no agencies have been accredited by SANAS for those sector codes.
What does this mean? The agencies will never be able to handle the expected load, or else the expected load will be far less (resulting in lower compliance). Half the economy will be unable to even get a verified certificate due to no agencies being accredited to do the job.
In July 2009 the minister issued a notice extending the period to end January 2010.
Is he going to give another extension? Will he this time choose to define what constitutes a “non-accredited agency”?
Did you ever stop and think why something that lasted only 40 years is going to take more than double that time to remedy the wrongs that were caused. The major problem resulting from the apartheid era is that so many South Africans lack a basic education. Back in high school and even primary school, if I struggled with some homework, I had qualified educators and more importantly I had my parents at home to help me. It wasn’t too much more than correcting the wrong word in an essay or making me double check the answer to a quadratic equation. The point is that I had someone who had gone through the process and knew a little bit more than I did. Thousands of black individuals were denied the right to a quality education if an education at all. These people now have children and even though their children are allowed to go to school, if they have any problems, they won’t be able to go to their parents for help because the parents simply don’t know the work. This seemingly insignificant idea results in the child getting a reduced education. The child may graduate; say for example as just passing. Just a pass will be greater than what the parents received. When that child grows up he/she will have children and that child will be able to ask the parent for help and may be able to graduate with a D symbol. That child grows up and eventually has children and will help that child and the child will receive a C symbol. The child that gained a C average will have children that will be able to finally get above 70%. This is now 4 generations which equates to nearly 100 years. To correct the wrongs of the previously over advantaged is going to take an extremely long time.
In his notice defining which scorecards are acceptable, the minister referred to “non accredited verification agencies”. We asked the dti for the definition of a non-accredited verification agency.
The dti’s answer was:
“Although a non-accredited Verification Agency is not defined but it means precisely a Verification Agency that is not accredited.” (sic)
This did not seem very useful so we asked SANAS the same question.
SANAS’ answer was: “Please refer to the definition as provided by the DTI.”
This clearly implies that there is no definition.
I wonder why the minister bothered to issue a notice using a phrase that has no definition?
And the president wonders why the pace of transformation is so slow!