Fronting Frustrates Efforts of Promoting Economic Transformation

Good efforts of promoting economic transformation are continuously frustrated by fronting. This was said by the Chief Director of Integrated Economic Development Services at Norther West Department at Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs, Mr Frank Tlhomelang,  Tlhomelang was delivering a keynote address at the Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment Commission’s provincial conference in Mahikeng on Thursday,5 December 2019. The theme of the conference was “The Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment Commission Empowering citizens”.

Tlhomelang appealed to the participants to refer fronting practices to the South African Police Service and the B-BBEE Commission for investigation and possible prosecution. He said fronting negatively affects all efforts of economic transformation and job creation.

“In complementing the work done by the B-BBEE Commission, our department’s Empowerment Fund, is a grant scheme that supports broadening economic participation by historically disadvantaged communities to enter the mainstream economy wherein the department contributes 100% of the total approved costs of project activities of up R200 000 per qualifying enterprise. This contribution reduces the cost of doing business for most of our black entrepreneurs that operate their businesses in areas outside the cities,” said Tlhomelang.

According to Tlhomelang, real economic empowerment can only take place if the targeted beneficiaries are aware of opportunities for economic transformation that are brought about by the B-BBEE Act and understand the work and role of the B-BBEE Commission, therefore the conference is key to the business community for them to be able to take advantage of the opportunities provided in the B-BBEE Act to develop their businesses.

Tlhomelang announced that the province is in a process of formulating a B-BBEE Strategy, and citizens should make their inputs.

The Executive Manager for Compliance at the B-BBEE Commission, Ms Busisiwe Ngwenya told the delegates that the conference sought to enlighten them to identify instances where they will know immediately when they are being exploited as fronts and prevent these, and also to identify empowerment opportunities through enterprise, supplier and skills development programmes.

Ngwenya told delegates to report to the B-BBEE Commission if they suspect that they are being fronted. She added that fronting undermined economic transformation and should therefore be reported. Additionally, she said both private and public sector must implement the BEE Act consistently for it to help achieve equality, create jobs and reduce poverty.

The next leg of the conferences will take place Gauteng in February 2020 and will culminate in the B-BBEE Commission’s annual conference in KwaZulu-Natal in March 2020.

The provincial conferences are part of the major education and awareness programme to educate, create awareness, and showcase services of the B-BBEE Commission and various related government entities that are tailor-made to assist businesses, especially Small, Medium and Micro Enterprises (SMMEs), and previously disadvantaged individuals, to participate meaningfully in the South African economy.

The Chief Director of the Integrated Economic Development Services at North West Department at Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs, Mr Frank Tlhomelang delivering a keynote address.

Issued on behalf of the B-BBEE Commission by:
Sidwell Medupe – Departmental Spokesperson
Department of Trade and Industry
Tel: +27 12 394 1650
Mobile : +27 79 492 1774
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