BY Sanjay Kassen
South Africa: B-BBEE verifications in a world of social distancing
The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is changing the way we live, interact and conduct business. The Broad-based Black Economic Empowerment (“B-BBEE”) world in South Africa is no different.
All companies undergoing a B-BBEE verification are required to permit their B-BBEE verification agencies to conduct on-site inspections and personal interviews as part of the verification process.
B-BBEE verification agencies, which are required to be accredited by the South African National Accreditation System (“SANAS”), are required to follow the procedures and processes prescribed by SANAS in performing B-BBEE verifications. Importantly, SANAS’ procedures (contained in SANAS’ R47-02 publication titled “Accreditation of B-BBEE Verification Agencies”) provides that a B-BBEE verification agency must base its verification on information that has been verified by an on-site visit to the measured entity. Moreover, no B-BBEE score can be given without an on-site assessment of the entity in question.
In an attempt to address the health challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic and in order to promote social distancing, SANAS has temporarily relaxed these requirements and will now permit the following:
- B-BBEE verification agencies may conduct on-site visits remotely via any suitable recorded video communications channel.
- Any required B-BBEE verification documents may be submitted to the B-BBEE verification agency or may be viewed via any suitable video communications channel, which must be recorded appropriately.
- Interviews may be conducted via any suitable video/teleconferencing communications channel, which must be recorded and saved.
- A director of the measured entity must provide a sworn affidavit confirming the information provided to the B-BBEE verification agency, its physical location and that such information is true and accurate.
- A measured entity must provide the B-BBEE verification agency with proof of its physical address, which is not older than three months.
B-BBEE verification agencies will take full responsibility of the results of the B-BBEE verification and must identity and mitigate any risks associated with this remote process.
This approach by SANAS is welcomed in these challenging times. In order to avoid any delays in conducting B-BBEE verifications and in the interests of promoting more social distancing, companies should implement the necessary measures in order to ensure that its B-BBEE verifications are able to be completed remotely.
Please contact ENSafrica’s B-BBEE practice group if you require any assistance with your B-BBEE compliance requirements.
Head of ENSafrica’s B-BBEE practice group
+27 82 561 1509
COVID-19, also known as the Coronavirus, is an infectious disease caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) that was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization on 11 March 2020. The disease has since been reported in over 190 countries.
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