Democracy in South Africa has created numerous opportunities for people, who have been marginalised by the previous dispensation, to participate in the business world. In addition, new legislation has created an enabling environment for new entrants in the market. Notwithstanding the enabling legislation, transformation has been slow, with few black businesses having entered the mainstream economy.
The eThekwini Municipality, in its attempt to accelerate empowerment, has identified a need to craft and create a new empowerment specification, specific to the multi-layered project for the acceleration of empowerment through the procurement of goods and services. The Empowerment Charter has special clauses and strict criteria for addressing empowerment in all work awarded under the GO!Durban project. These criteria and clauses set clearly defined targets for enterprise development, skills development, equity and corporate social investment initiatives.
Why the need for the GO!Durban Empowerment Charter?
The GO!Durban Empowerment Charter is an empowerment specification that is included as part of the overall project specification, for the acceleration of empowerment, which is contractually binding for contracts on the project.
What is the GO!Durban Empowerment Charter About?
The GO!Durban Empowerment Charter is not a Preferencing Policy and is unrelated to BBBEE. It is a Specification for Empowerment which is not dissimilar to a Technical Specification.
The charter is structured in such a manner that it addresses three key forms of contracting:
- Engineering and construction;
- Supply only contracts, managing contracts and service contracts and
- Professional services contracts.
The charter focuses on Four Key Pillars:
The project targets for each pillar are dependent on the project scope and size and are individually set for each individual contract, which is dependent on the market achievability.
Equity, Management and Control
This pillar targets the participation by black persons in the ownership and Management of enterprises doing business with the eThekwini Municipality. In this regard, it addresses participation by specific race group targets, viz. previously known as African, Indian, and Coloured persons.
Skills Development and Aftercare
This pillar targets training and development, before and after formal qualification. In this
regard, enterprises participating in any particular contract may be required to contribute financially to a skills development fund, which funds are to be utilised to provide bursaries for deserving candidates. In addition, enterprises may also be required to provide employment to unemployed graduates for a period of three years. In all instances,
all candidates are selected by the eThekwini Municipality unless otherwise agreed.
This pillar targets the provision of business opportunities to local black owned enterprises through subcontracting. In this regard, prime contractors are required to subcontract a predetermined percentage of work to black owned businesses located in a particular predetermined target area.
Socio Economic Development
This pillar targets corporate social Investment opportunities and the promotion of employment of local labour. In this regard, enterprises participating in any particular contract may be required to contribute financially to a Corporate Social Investment (CSI) Fund, which funds are to be utilised to support CSI initiatives, which beneficiaries are selected by the eThekwini Municipality. In addition, enterprises are also required to provide employment to local labour, with additional emphasis on the employment of women, youth and people with disabilities.
Who will manage the implementation of the GO!Durban Empowerment Charter?
The eThekwini Municipality will be convening and Empowerment Charter Board which is responsible for the administration, management and compliance monitoring of the implementation of the charter. The board representatives will come from the following eThekwini Municipality Units
- Skills Development
- Supply Chain Management
- Economic Development and Business Support
- Treasury and
- eThekwini Transport Authority
- Private Sector Representatives
- Community Representatives
The Empowerment Charter Board is supported by the GO!Durban Programme Management Office, which will carry out the day to day duties of the board.