THE CABINET is expected to start deliberations on a draft empowerment bill next week, aimed at overhauling transformation in the manufacturing, retail and agricultural sectors.
The bill proposes amendments to the black economic empowerment (BEE) legislation such as the criminalisation of fronting, and speeding up transformation in the three targeted sectors.
It also seeks to move beyond mere ownership and look at ways in which black people will play a meaningful role in procurement and production processes.
The director-general of the Department of Trade and Industry, Lionel October, said black people had been involved in the running of factories at a floor manager level and understood production processes.
“There was a conflict of legislation which saw industries in the retail, agricultural and manufacturing (sectors) avoid empowerment. We will shift empowerment to production and move BEE from the margins to the mainstream. The policy was not strong on retail and manufacturing,” he said.
The bill seeks to put a greater emphasis on using skilled black workers, and helping them start their own businesses.
Oh well. Just when we were getting used to what we had.