This is another of those allegoric posts. I was privileged enough to accompany a client to go and meet a listed company – (who I have immense respect for). We met with Smutti (not her real name) who has been tasked to check that all their suppliers are making a plan when the new codes come in. Now Smutti knows a bit about BEE, enough to impress those who don't know much about it but a hell of a lot less than I do. I made it very clear that I was representing the client in the meeting and we had prepared a BEE plan for the next couple of years. We went through all the stuff that needed to be gone through and Smutti threw all the information at us that needed to be thrown at us, id est – we know that there will be a drop in levels but you must be an 8 etc. Get equity equivalents if you are a multinational or get black ownership etc, etc.
And then the meeting was over and I left Smutti a copy of my now very outdated BEE book (much to my regret as it turns out). We knew what to do now. A rather unremarkable meeting.
BUT – it would appear that Smutti has some sort of agenda. The next morning my client gets an email from MOPSY (where Peter, Cottontail and Flopsy were is not clear), saying that they had been referred to the client by Smutti.
It was very well written email –
Smutti shared your contact details with me, advising that you would benefit from having a BBBEE scoping session with me. I'm currently the BBBEE Advisor for THE lARGE LISTED COMPANY, and it would a pleasure to meet with you to understand YOUR context better, as well as identify opportunities for CLIENT to consider pursuing to capture value for BBBEE.
What an incredible cheek. I appreciate that business is business, but why was it that my advising the CLIENT wasn't good enough for Smutti? There are many theories that could be put forward. None of which I will openly speculate on this blog. I think the upshot of this is that an ethics line has been crossed. I know nothing about Smutti and know less about MOPSY. Other than the unfortunate name I can't even speculate as to how good they are. I don't know whether Smutti singled me out or perhaps she does this for all the major company's suppliers. Whichever way it is a poor example of ethical conduct.
I think I'll have a few Windhoek Lagers and contemplate this.