South African businesses will have to go the extra mile in the next few years to maintain their codes in relation to the Department of Trade Industry’s (DTI) Revised Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) plan. Though the business process might become more complex, there are existing tools that can help simplify the process.

The BEE plan seeks companies to adhere to certain standards that would see the economic development of those previously disadvantaged under the Apartheid government.

Saul Symanowitz, Divisional Manager at Sage Pastel BEE123, says that companies should rethink their approach to Preferential Procurement if they want to avoid dropping empowerment levels when next they go through BEE certification.

The revised BEE Codes will come into effect on 30 April 2015. The biggest change is that the Preferential Procurement and Enterprise Development will become one category known as Enterprise and Supplier Development.

Among other stipulations, this adjustment will mean the 25 points for Preferential Procurement can only be earned when procuring from Empowering Suppliers, irrespective of the BEE status level of the supplier in question.

On top of that, there are nine of the 25 points available for companies that spend 40% of their procurement with suppliers that are at least 51% black owned and a further four points for spending 12% of procurement with empowering suppliers that are at least 30% black women-owned.

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