Minister calls to energise BEE fronting fight

2010-11-11 14:49

The trade and industry department needs to become “much more energetic” in combating fronting in black economic empowerment (BEE) deals, Minister Rob Davies said on today.

“BEE is an economic imperative – we are not going to make economy grow and develop if it is based on the participation of a minority of the population,” Davies told reporters in Cape Town.

“This has been underscored even more in the global economic crisis, where countries which developed their domestic markets and production capabilities did better than those who had not done so.”

Davies, who recently chaired a meeting on the BEE advisory council, said the department was encountering a number of instances of fronting, where there was a vast difference between “the presentation and substance” of BEE deals.

“The people who are supposed to benefit are not benefiting from deals. We need to become much more energetic in combating fronting.”

Davies said empowerment deals were often small and did not extend to the majority.

“Where it has been there it has taken form of complex transactions, where the form and PR representation may be at considerable variance to substance of transactions, and where the people who are supposed to have been empowered have not actually been empowered.”

This was preventing people from becoming “actors in the real economy”.

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