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New BEE to smash white businesses?

Even supporters of BEE fear that white-owned small businesses won’t be able to comply with new codes.

Rob Davies does not believe new BEE codes will hinder job creation.

Small firms with a turnover of less than R15-million per year say it will be almost impossible for them to comply with the Department of Trade and Industry's revised BEE codes. White-owned small businesses, in particular, could be especially hard hit.

"We are going after smaller firms so we can empower them," explains Minister of Trade and Industry Rob Davies. "We need more black industrialists."

The new codes do not prohibit small firms from being exclusively white owned. These companies will, however, find it tough to supply bigger companies as larger firms are now also being scored on the transformation of smaller companies they deal with.

Keith Levenstein of EconoBEE, a fervent supporter of Black Economic Empowerment, is of the opinion that small, white-owned firms will find it extremely challenging to meet the terms of the new laws. "It is going to take an effort," admits Davies. "However, we don't think it's something that can't be reached."

Davies denies that these new codes will hurt job creation. "We're aiming to reduce red tape and the burden it places on small businesses."

Click here to listen to an interview with Minister Davies on this subject.

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