The Coega Development Corporation (CDC) became the first state-owned enterprise to achieve a Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (B-BBEE) Level 1 Contribution Status – the highest BEE achievable status – at the end of March 2014, receiving its official certificate last week.
“We are thrilled and excited by this huge achievement, but it has not come without a lot of blood, sweat and some tears. The certification speaks to excellence and also commitment to ensuring that people we work with are equally dedicated to transformation and socio-economic development,” said Andile Ntloko, Coega Development Corporation (CDC) Unit Head for small, micro, medium enterprise (SMME) development.
“Of course, the higher the BEE status level, the stronger a company is in relation to its competition.”
This achievement will position CDC as a preferred service provider and will provide its clients with 135% BEE recognition (procurement claim value as 135% of Rand spend).
“As an Implementing Agent (IA) for various government departments on infrastructure projects, this means we will become the service provider of choice. This certificate is a confirmation of our recent accolade, where we were awarded the Most Empowered Enterprise at the second annual South African Premier Business Awards.”
The CDC was measured on six BEE Scorecard elements each of which contributes to the outcome of the scorecard based on set targets and weightings.
The Level 1 status is based on the financial period 2013/2014 and to maintain the same status, the organisation will have to continue implementing empowerment strategies and initiatives for the 2014/2015 financial period and beyond.
To demonstrate Coega’s commitment to transformation the organisation recently awarded 100 BEE Certificates to local black SMMEs and 65% were black female and 50% were youth entrepreneurs.
The organisation is planning to roll out this programme to further 500 SMME beneficiaries between April 2014 and June 2014 where CDC will do this service free of charge for its SMMEs as CDC contribution to local empowerment and transformation. This initiative will be rolled out in the Eastern Cape and the KwaZulu-Natal provinces.
“This certificate provides a challenge for the next audit, we must maintain Level 1 and not regress,” said Ntloko.
To achieve this top status the CDC reviewed its previous scorecard where it scored Level 2 and “closed all the gaps that were identified as shortfalls”.
One of the shortfalls identified was training output of people living with disabilities. Thus, the CDC embarked on a programme to employ 19 people with disabilities and provide concurrent training.
The other major achievement was employment of black females at top management and board level. A number of interventions were implemented from Corporate Social Investment (CSI) to procurement of black suppliers also helped the CDC achieve BEE Level 1.
The CDC underwent a formal verification audit by an accredited and registered BEE verification agency. The BEE rating is an in-depth audit process and an on-site verification of the evidence submitted for each element was conducted by the agency.
The following elements were measured and CDC’s contribution was outlined:
- Management Control: the organisation scored 15.36/15.00 points, including a bonus point of 1 for participation of Black Non-Executive Board Members in the organisation.
- Employment Equity: the CDC scored 14.78/15.00 points and this number increased from 12.07 in the last verification.
- Skills Development: the CDC scored 20.00/20.00 and this score is largely impacted by the contribution the company has made in uplifting the skills levels of disabled employees as well as increasing the number of disabled employees as a percentage of all employees. In the previous verification, the organisation scored 16/20.
- Preferential Procurement: the organisation scored 20.00/20.00 and has met all the targets as set out in the BEE Scorecard. CDC has achieved 20% target on BEE Procurement Spend from suppliers that are 50% black owned and 30% black- women owned. In the previous verification the CDC scored 19.90 under this element.
- Enterprise Development: the organisation scored 15.00/15.00, the score emanates largely from the current BEE Competitiveness Improvement Programme and the contribution the organisation is making through the SMME Unit, the set-up of the unit is quantifiable as ED contribution.
- Socio Economic Development: the CDC scored 15.00/15.00 and the organisation was scored on contribution directed at advancing socio economic development. These include, the CDC Driver Training Programme, donations made to various non-profit organisations, Internship Programme, etc.
“Coega leads by example and practices what it preaches. The CDC is extremely excited to achieve such a prestigious milestone, we can’t even express our joy,” said Ntloko.
Ntloko added that: “As an organisation that promotes the transformation and empowerment, the CDC ensures that what we expect from service providers, contractors and consultants, we physically demonstrate the expectation. We are forcing service providers to take transformation and empowerment as daily business imperative and lifestyle of the business. We use tender opportunities as vehicles of transformation and therefore we are excited to lead by example”.
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