Sector-specific laws needed to push BEE transformation in South Africa: portfolio committee

Parliament’s portfolio committee on Public Works and Infrastructure says that there is a need for legislation that will strengthen the transformation of the construction and built environment sectors of South Africa.

In a briefing on Wednesday (20 May), the committee said that this is one of the key functions of respectively the Construction Industry Development Board (CIDB), and the Council for the Built Environment (CBE).

“It is necessary to either amend current legislation to make provision for the enforcement of transformation or to come up with new legislation that will address this matter,” the committee said.

“The role of both the CBE and CIDB are very important as they regulate and drive development of the construction and built environment sectors.

“It is for this reason that the committees believe that in order for these entities to be efficient and successful in their task to transform the industry, they have to be strengthened through legislation.

“The committees would like to urge the minister and the department to fast-track this process so that these entities can have stronger enforcement and coordination powers.”

New legislation imminent

The Department of Employment and Labour says it will amend and enact changes around South Africa’s employment equity regulations to address issues around equal opportunities and inclusion.

Presenting to parliament on 7 May, employment and labour director-general Thobile Lamati said that includes a push for further transformation changes at senior levels across South African businesses.

Citing the government’s 2018-2019 Employment Equity report, Lamati said that black Africans currently constitute 23.2% and 40.2% at the senior and middle management levels as reported by designated employers.

He said government will now push for at least a 2% annual increase in the representation of black Africans in senior and middle-manager levels.

He added that the Department of Labour plans to set sector targets to bring this to at least 50% within the next five years (2024).

Lamati said that the department also plans to amend the existing Employment Equity Act to help it meet these transformation targets within the same time frame.

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Sector-specific laws needed to push BEE transformation in South Africa: portfolio committee