The B-BBEE Commission has found that BEE Matrix SA (Pty) Ltd issued B-BBEE certificates contrary to verification procedures and Codes of Good Practice, and BEE Matrix SA (Pty) Ltd has agreed to implement remedial recommendations made by the B-BBEE Commission, which include a full audit of B-BBEE certificates for 2015-2017 and refund of fees to all entities they improperly issued with B-BBEE certificates, and that BEE Matrix SA (Pty) Ltd, its shareholders Mr Obed de Swardt and Mr Selvin Munusamy, and the technical signatory Simone Mitchell who is no longer with BEE Matrix SA (Pty) Ltd, will not be involved in the business of B-BBEE verification, whether directly or indirectly, for a period of five years.
The B-BBEE Commission initiated the investigation in June 2017 to determine whether the conduct of the BEE Matrix SA (Pty) Ltd and the verification professional in question, Simone Mitchell, is in compliance with the objectives of the B-BBEE Act following letters of advice from the B-BBEE Commission’s Compliance Division alerting BEE Matrix of the B-BBEE certificates issued without following proper verification procedures, which they failed to address satisfactorily.
Although this action emanated from B-BBEE certificates issued to Zuri Quantity Surveyors Incorporated and Ilifa Africa Engineers (Pty) Ltd, the main concern was the application of verification processes and the B-BBEE Commission found that BEE Matrix SA (Pty) Ltd did not have appropriate quality control measures for verification as required. BEE Matrix SA (Pty) Ltd has cooperated with the investigation and apologised for the conduct, and will now approach South African National Accreditation System (“SANAS”) to withdraw its accreditation as a verification agency with immediate effect.
The B-BBEE Commission says “one of the risks towards achieving real black economic empowerment lies with the verification process, which if not conducted properly, creates a fallacy of empowerment on paper and a haven for fronting practices that have derailed transformation for many years.”
“Our focus on rooting out unacceptable verification practices should help to ensure that we have credible verification agencies in the system. This will give all of us confidence that
B-BBEE certificates entities are trading with are based on properly verified black empowerment credentials, and for government entities to trust the B-BBEE certificates they are presented with by entities from time to time. The B-BBEE certificates in question were declared invalid and withdrawn already,” the B-BBEE Commission concluded.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of The Department of Trade and Industry, South Africa.