The perception of broad–based black economic empowerment across agricultural businesses
Broad Based Black Economic Empowerment could possibly be the utmost strategic issue, challenge, threat and potential opportunity facing businesses of all sizes, structures and shapes currently in South Africa. Broad–Based BEE is a government initiative to promote economic transformation in order to enable meaningful participation in the economy by black people. Broad–Based BEE is a reality and a business imperative. Broad–based BEE already have a huge impact in the way business is done in South Africa by large corporate entities, family businesses, small and medium sized businesses and professional practitioners. Broad–based BEE affects almost every participant in the South African economy. Broad–Based BEE can be divided into three components, which holds the seven elements of Broad–Based BEE, namely direct empowerment, human resource development and indirect empowerment. These elements include Equity Ownership, Management, Employment Equity, Skills Development, Preferential Procurement, Enterprise Development and Corporate Social Investment. The agricultural businesses in South Africa have implemented unique types of Broad–Based BEE strategies to conform to Broad–Based BEE. These strategies include shareholding by external Broad–Based BEE companies, and registering Broad–Based BEE employee trusts that obtains shareholding in the company. According to the AgriBEE Framework its vision is to pursue Broad–Based BEE in support of a United and Prosperous Agricultural Sector. The objectives of AgriBEE as described by the AgriBEE Steering Committee are to facilitate broad–based black economic empowerment in the agricultural sector by implementing initiatives to include Black South Africans at all levels of agricultural activity and enterprises along the entire agricultural value chain by following certain steps and ideologies. The contribution of the agribusinesses has some clear indications of shortcomings within the industry as well as and indication of possible elements to be pursued in future. There are however also serious implications to the respondents actions and attitude towards Broad–Based BEE now and in future. It also very apparent that the agribusiness does not distance themselves from the Broad–Based BEE Act and its requirements as well as the consequences thereof. The agribusiness industry is actively involved in Broad–Based BEE.