While there is much debate in the court of public opinion over the real value it has offered the majority of South Africans since its introduction, Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (B-BBEE) remains the de facto ‘licence to trade’ in South Africa.

As we finally exit that state of lockdown, companies are desperate for a competitive edge and a way back to full productivity in what still remains an uncertain time for us all. Having your B-BBEE certification at the best possible level is a crucial step in how you are repositioning your business in post-pandemic South Africa. Your B-BBEE scorecard is the key to establishing your trading credentials and avoid missing potential opportunities from the get-go.

The pursuit of that best possible compliance rating, however, can become very costly very quickly. To get the most out, we’ve assembled a list of cost saving initiatives that should help you comply with legal requirements cost-effectively and also benefit from that value over more than one measurement period.

Bang-for-buck B-BBEE tips:

Financial information

  • Ensure that you use audited financial statements.
  • Using management accounts will incur an additional fee from the B-BBEE rating agency.


  • For companies with an annual turnover of less than R50 million, consider bringing in a broad-based ownership vehicle (such as trusts) at 51%.
    • This will exempt your company from B-BBEE and deliver status Level 2 automatically, with no cost of compliance and verification costs.
    • Original shareholders remain in control and various exit strategies can be implemented.

Management control

  • Ensure disabled/unemployed learners (learnerships/internships as part of your skills development) are added to the payroll to score an additional two points for disabled employees.

Skills development

  • Planning and timing are crucial.
    • Aim to implement your internships/learnerships/apprenticeships over two financial periods.
    • The training cost (fee of the training provider) can be claimed only for the period that the payment was made, but the number of learners (headcount target) as well as stipends paid in that period can be claimed in the new financial year.
    • This could lessen the financial burden over the second financial period.
  • Make use of the tax incentives available for learnerships:
    • R80 000 on abled body learnerships
      • Monetary value: R80 000 x 28% = R22 400
    • R120 000 on disabled body learnerships
      • Monetary value: R120 000 x 28% = R33 600
    • Utilise salaries on internships/learnerships/apprenticeships
      • Salaries/wages/stipends can also be claimed against the target, for the months the training was running in the measurement period.
    • Focus on disabled internships/learnerships/apprenticeships
      • Including disabled learners ensures that there is no overspending on this element.
    • Targeting employees on fixed-term contracts
      • Start with internships/learnerships/apprenticeships and then permanently employ those people.
      • This generates bonus B-BBEE points.
    • There are also absorption solutions available, for which you’re welcome to contact our General Secretary for expert assistance with.

Supplier and enterprise development

  • Non-monetary contributions qualify
    • Donation of equipment, office space free of charge, mentoring, etc.
  • Interest free loans also qualify
    • 70% of the loan amount can be claimed (including loss on interest) every year, for as long as the loan is outstanding.

Socio-economic development

  • Article 18A organisations qualify for a tax benefit.


More information

For any expert assistance with all things B-BBEE compliance-related, please contact our General Secretary Elise Coetser, at elise.coetser@saueo.co.za.


In a challenging business environment in South Africa, Cores understands how important compliance is to ensure competitiveness and feasibility. To this end, Cores offers advice and various solutions in the business-critical spaces of B-BBEE Scoring, Skills Development, and Health and Safety. This includes assessment, planning, and implementation, document preparation, training and development programmes, as well as assisting clients with qualifying for tax incentives and claims from the Sector Education and Training Authority (SETA).