Fronting hampers economic transformation
This was said by chief director of Integrated Economic Development Services within the North West Department of Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs, Frank Tlhomelang.
He was delivering a keynote address at the Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment Commission’s provincial conference in Mahikeng last week.
The theme of the conference was “The Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment Commission Empowering citizens”.
Tlhomelang appealed to participants to refer fronting practices to the police and the B-BBEE Commission for investigation and possible prosecution. He said fronting negatively affected all efforts to bring about economic transformation and job creation.
“In complementing the work done by the B-BBEE Commission, our department’s Empowerment Fund is a grant scheme that supports broadening economic participation by historically disadvantaged communities to enter the mainstream economy wherein the department contributes 100% of the total approved costs of project activities of up to R200000 per qualifying enterprise. This contribution reduces the cost of doing business for most black entrepreneurs who operate their businesses in areas outside the cities,” said Tlhomelang.
The executive manager of Compliance at the B-BBEE Commission, Busisiwe Ngwenya, told delegates that the conference sought to encourage them to identify instances where they were being exploited as fronts and prevent these, and also to identify empowerment opportunities through enterprise, supplier and skills development programmes. Ngwenya told delegates to report to the B-BBEE Commission if they suspect that they were being fronted.
The next leg of the conferences will take place in Gauteng in February, and will culminate in the commission’s annual conference in KwaZulu-Natal in March.