Financial sector BEE clampdown warning 

Sakeliga has requested clarification on the Financial Sector Transformation Council’s (FSTC) authority to compel compliance with BEE reporting from financial services businesses.

In a press statement released on 11 April, Sakeliga brought into question the FSTC’s authority to compel BEE reporting from all financial institutions.

This comes after the FSTC demanded earlier this year that all financial institutions – from individual brokers to large corporates – provide evidence of their Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (B-BBEE) status. 

“Following this and similar FSTC notices in 2021 and 2022, several industry role-players now appear to be under the impression that non-compliance with reporting may result in formal or other statutory sanctions against them,” Sakeliga said.

“However, presently, no legislation Sakeliga is aware of compels financial institutions to participate in or certify their businesses’ racial profile under the B-BBEE Act.”

The organisation said the FSTC appears to be overreaching by demanding B-BBEE reporting from financial institutions not involved in B-BBEE transactions or certification processes.

Sakeliga has therefore requested the FSTC to clarify and substantiate its position within 30 days. 

“This is well in advance of the FSTC’s ostensible deadline of 28 June 2024 for industry compliance with its questionable directive,” Sakeliga said. 

“Sakeliga intends to share information it obtains from the FSTC with financial services providers, in order that they may better consider their possible response to the FSTC.”

It said that, in general, financial institutions would be well-advised to delay their decisions and obtain legal advice before considering compliance with the FSTC’s directive. 

“It is likely that the FSTC would use the information provided against you in future, in pursuit of non-value-adding sectional and political interests,” the organisation said.

“Sakeliga’s position remains that the public interest is best served when businesses employ a strategy of maximum achievable non-compliance with the government’s policy of BEE and its demands for BEE reporting.”

“BEE is a temporary harmful government policy. The policy professes to seek empowerment but, in fact, requires businesses to jeopardise their mission of value-generation for adherence to political directives with a bureaucratic and racial focus.” 

Sakelisa said that, instead of encouraging value-adding economic cooperation across communities, BEE adds layer upon layer of structural cost to doing business in South Africa, raising the cost of goods and services and thereby making virtually everyone poorer.


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