Trade and Industry Deputy Minister Mzwandile Masina has launched the system for issuing of Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (B-BBEE) certificates through the Companies Intellectual Properties Commission (CIPC) self-service terminals in Pretoria.
This will enable CIPC customers, who are registering private companies through the terminals, to also register for a B-BBEE certificate at the end of the company registration transaction or when they file their CIPC annual returns.
Through this process, the B-BBEE certificates will be issued for free to registrants.
Launching the system at the dti campus in Sunnyside on Tuesday, Deputy Minister Masina said government is sharpening its systems to ensure efficiency and deal with challenges.
“Amongst the challenges that emerge are … unscrupulous intermediaries, fraudulent certificates and unregulated fees in the process of B-BBEE certification.
“These challenges impose the need for us to constantly improve our technical systems and registration process in a manner that averts these mostly criminal challenges, while providing services in a convenient manner,” said the Deputy Minister.
He said these challenges mostly affect small businesses, which must ideally be exempt from many compliance measures but are being affected by unscrupulous incidents in the verification industry.
The Deputy Minister said the new system has been designed to ensure that services are accessed with ease so beneficiaries can participate in the economy to help realise government’s transformation agenda.
“We have been taken for a ride and therefore we want to deal with this fraud by ensuring that our certificates can be verified. These are compliance and regulatory issues we are dealing with and we need the industry to work with us to protect public funds,” said Deputy Minister Masina.
He said the service will be available to micro enterprises with a turnover of R1m - R10m.
CIPC Commissioner Astrid Ludin said there are plans in place to ensure that the self-service terminals are available throughout the country.
“We currently have 42 terminals in Pretoria, Johannesburg and Cape Town. We are rolling out these terminals to the Eastern Cape and the Northern Cape soon,” said Ludin.
Deputy Minister Masina said the purpose of the self-service terminals is to make doing business in SA easier. The department is also moving towards a one-stop shop that enables integrated services.
This creates platforms for small businesses to contribute to economic growth by making it easier for them to register and acquire certificates.
Ludin said partnerships are being explored to ensure that services are available to everyone and provided at a low cost. She said the services are fully automated and rely on verification from the Department of Home Affairs. - SAnews.gov.za