In an effort to grow the number of black chartered accountants, the Department of Trade and Industry has gazetted the revised chartered accountancy profession sector code for public comment.
The South African Institute of Chartered accountants (Saica) on Friday issued a statement on the charter, which aims to boost transformation in the profession. The aim is to have the number of black people in the CA profession reflect the country's population demographics.
Commenting on the revised code, chair of the CA Charter Council and executive chairperson of African Women Chartered Accountants, Sindi Mabaso-Koyana, said the charter comes following years of many challenges within the profession.
"Now that the CA Charter has finally been gazetted, not only can the profession ramp up the transformation efforts it began so many years ago, but it can elevate these plans to restore the nobility of the profession while executing tangible results," she said.
Saica has described the CA Charter as being more than a "mere tick box exercise".
The charter deviates from the standard allocation of points under the existing Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment legislation by placing significant emphasis on skills development, Saica explained.
The skills development score particularly has been changed to 30 points, from the conventional 20 points. This way, the profession can place greater emphasis on training, learnerships and bursary fund investments.
"It is impossible to grow the number of Black CAs(SA) without funding," Saica noted.
Further, the supplier development contributions have been reduced from 10 points to five points. The remaining five points have been allocated to the capacity building of SA's historically disadvantaged tertiary institutions (HDIs), with the aim that they help develop black CAs.
"Improving the level of education available at HDIs means that we increase the capacity of the country in increasing the number of black students who can now graduate from these institutions and also address many challenges relative to inequality," Mabaso-Koyana said.
Chantyl Mulder, Saica's executive director of nation building, also commented on the need to develop black CAs.
"South Africa still has a large shortage of CAs(SA) – especially African and coloured CAs(SA). But thanks to the CA Charter, the profession now has a very real opportunity to empower South African citizens by meaningfully expanding the economic activity of the country through the creation of decent work and sustainable livelihoods," Mulder said.
The public can submit comments on the charter to the dti by June 26, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The charter can be viewed here.