Posted: September 1, 2023
The Deputy Minister of Trade, Industry and Competition, Ms Nomalungelo Gina says black women remain the most disadvantaged group in the South African society, with only 30% of African women engaged in formal economic sector activities. Gina was speaking during a roundtable discussion themed Mainstreaming Women’s Economic Empowerment through B-BBEE in Pretoria today.
“In 2020, the National Status Report on Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (B-BBEE) national trends depicted a gloomy picture. It illustrated how women in the economy, in management control and ownership scorecard are still far below acceptable levels in terms of the companies’ agenda of inclusion. The majority of women still do not sit in company boards where decisions and votes are made. This is evident even where they have 50% shareholding or above,” said Gina.
Gina singled out the financial sector to illustrate the gravity of the status quo. She said research has shown that only 10% of women in South Africa are involved in the executive decision-making within the financial sector.
“Black women have benefited little from BEE initiatives thus far,” Gina stressed.
“The Commission on Gender Equality conducted a survey on 103 listed companies of the Johannesburg Stock Exchange and they found that only two African females held non-executive positions. This is shameful to say the least. In recent years, especially between 2020 and 2022 there has been a stagnation in the economy and in relation to black women ownership which has not improved from 14%. The truth is that progress has been very slow,” added Gina.
Gina further said the gap between black women ownership and overall black ownership has persisted over time since the establishment of the B-BBEE Commission as a regulator.
“I think the B-BBEE Commission and the Commission for Gender Equality must take the lead by aggressively enforcing the 40% set-aside by President Cyril Ramaphosa in all government agencies, provincial government and even municipalities. I have consistently raised concerns with the B-BBEE Commission that we are not effective in conducting inspections and doing company compliance reports. We rely on consulting agencies which may be prone to many other commercial influences when compiling these compliance reports,” she said.
She explains that government legislation as an instrument is not empowered to bite those companies defying to comply with B-BBEE regulations.
“From where I am sitting, the authority of the Commission by law must be strengthened to bite more like the Competition Commission does on market inquiries. Gender policy and legislation are complimentary in the pursuit of economic justice for black people and women. This is important to emphasise because there has been an unjustified attack directed at government for implementing these policies as instruments for social and economic levelling of fields,” said Gina
The Deputy Minister of Trade, Industry and Competition, Ms Nomalungelo Gina speaking during the roundtable discussion themed Mainstreaming Women’s Economic Empowerment through B-BBEE in Pretoria today.
Bongani Lukhele – Director: Media Relations
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Issued by: The Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (the dtic)
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