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JOHANNESBURG - The Broad-based Black Economic Empowerment (B-BBEE) Commission is challenging the government and the private sector to increase the number of women on boards and ensure at least 30 percent procurement from black women-owned enterprises. 

The call was prompted by indications of a recent study commissioned by the agency, which indicated a marked decline of black and women representation in boards of Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) listed companies. 

The national status and trends on broad-based black economic transformation for the 2017 calendar year shows that JSE listed companies have only 38percent representation by black people on their boards. 

Males account for 20 percent; females stand at 18 percent. The report shows a decline in black ownership by 5.75 percent and black female ownership by 1.96 percent compared to the 2016 report. 

The 2016 report indicated that only 30percent (male 18 percent; female 12 percent) black South Africans held directorship on listed companies, and black foreign nationals were at 15 percent. 

The report indicates that black ownership has declined by 5.75 percent, standing at 27 percent, and black female ownership by 1.96 percent, which is at 9 percent compared to the 2016 report (black ownership 32.75 percent and female 10.32 percent). 

The Property, Tourism, Agri-BEE and Financial Services did not achieve 25 percent on ownership. The number of companies achieving B-BBEE Level 4 and above has also declined compared to the 2016 report.