This post is a response to a BEE website that sent a note to a charity that they could be listed on their website subject to them being (and I quote)
in possession of a Beneficiary Analysis Certificate from an accredited BEE verification agency. Should you not be in possession of a Beneficiary Analysis Certificate, we have secured special terms with EVS (a member of Empowerdex), a leading accredited BEE verification agency, where this can be obtained at a 10% discount from the their ordinary price of R960 (excl VAT).
However my beef is not so much with the website (hence I'm not mentioning their name) but it's against those companies that are profiteering from the poor.
This is wrong and is a gross abuse of a sector that has been rejected by the government, the lottery (speak to Sandra Millar about that) and they are now having to eke out an existence from donations from the already overstretched corporate sector. On top of this there is no legal basis for this requirement which makes this type of activity even more disgusting. In EVS' defence they aren't the only ones doing this but their name goes out on the directory's email.
The proprietor of the website sent me this justification
Our Directory is however designed to be a tool for users that search to find NPOs will be guaranteed that their BEE points will be earned if donations are made, without having to rely on the NPO to compile the requisite documentation. This also has the added advantage that the clients already have the appropriate supporting documentation when being audited, which they find to be a huge benefit. You will appreciate that we don't want a situation where the user of the site makes a donation to a NPO listed on our Directory, and then subsequently does not earn their BEE points, or alternatively face huge hassles in obtaining the requisite proof from the NPO (which as a consultant you will know is a very real problem in practice). The only way that we can effectively guarantee this is through a Beneficiary Recognition Certificate from an Accredited Verification Agency, which is why we have created the requirement.
His argument is valid – NPOs need to make sure that they've got their act together. Many are getting it together and those that don't won't survive. But this is shoving another expense in the works and is only going to make the Empowerdex's et al of the BEE world wealthier without adding any intrinsic value.
We have to stop this NOW. I'll tell you why, because the verification agencies are going to start insisting on these certificates and once that happens it will never end. There's no point in lodging a complaint with the DTI or SANAS or any of those bodies because history has shown they will do nothing about it. The only way we can stop this is to create a media stink about it. And to this end I will send this post to every newspaper and radio station and TV station in South Africa (and the world for that matter). It will not bode well for those verification agencies that charge charities for this superfluous document.
I tell you what EVS and Empowerdex and anyone else you should do it as a pro bono service (that means you charge nothing for it).
In an attempt to stop this behaviour I have uploaded a template that covers all the information that a verification agency will need to allocate the points. It easily satisfies the requirements contained in the udge-approved verification manual. (Just make sure you don't lie in the document - no one will believe that there are any black beneficiaries if your charity is named the Barend Strydom Home for Retired Freedom Fighters.)
Appendix 8 of the Verification Manual (Gazette number 31255)
4.6 – The verification agency shall obtain sufficient and appropriate evidence that 75% of the value of the socio-economic development contributions accrue to black people. If this is not the case, then the verification agency shall confirm the value of the contributions is multiplied by the percentage of the contributions that benefit black people, in accordance with ……… code 700.
Sufficiency of evidence is described as referring
to the measure of the quantity and quantity of evidence (sic?). The quantity of evidence required is affected by the risk of misstatement (the greater the risk of misstatement the more evidence is likely to be required) and also by the quality of such evidence (the higher the quality, the less evidence may be required).