Article written by Tinita Gerber (SEESA)
If you are a current business owner in South Africa it can confidently be said that the question has crossed your mind “What will happen to your business after the lockdown has been lifted or the pandemic has been cleared?” Most Management Teams and Business Owners are experiencing uncertainty about the outcome of this COVID-19. Not only the outcome in the short-term but the larger effects thereof.
One should also keep in mind the timing at which the national lockdown is occurring. Not only do we have this pandemic challenging our economy, but also numerous other contributing factors that have led to the Finch Rating Agency downscaling South Africa’s Long-Term Foreign-Currency Issuer Default Rating (IDR) to ‘BB’ from ‘BB+’. This is two levels below Investment Grade.
Fitch states the COVID-19 crisis has added pressure to the already weak economy creating the expectation that South Africa’s GDP may contract by 3.8% in 2020 and Fitch expects only a slight recovery by 1.7% in 2021. Fitch confirms that the contraction is primarily due to the national lockdown which is disrupting global demand.
It is therefore difficult to foresee all the possible consequences the above-mentioned crises might have on your business. The best way to overcome any form of unwanted disruption of production is to have a Disaster Management Plan in place which will attempt to mitigate the adverse effects of a disaster. With the prevention of the disaster not being a possibility the recovery of the business is the remaining core aspect of this plan.
The Importance and advantages of BEE
The importance of a company’s BEE status and its impact on possible business opportunities is revisited when considering possible alternative Disaster Management solutions such as the BEE Strategy Plan.
The company’s BEE Level can increase your company’s competitive advantage since these levels are used to rank enterprises for the allocation of contracts by the State, Government and Government Institutions, as well as some Private, Owned companies.
Smaller companies within your community may also be harshly affected by this pandemic since they do not have the required funds for a Disaster Management Plan. By assisting these companies with contributions your company is turning its focus to Supplier and Enterprise Development.
Both companies and individuals are affected by this lockdown which may result in low morale of employees. By focusing on the Skills Development of existing and potential employees it may lead to overall positivity and motivation amongst employees as well as higher occupational levels within your company.
By playing your part in assisting vulnerable black communities affected by these crises, you will also be able to claim the cash or in-kind assistance provided as Socio-Economic Development for your BEE Scorecard.
Therefore, it is strongly recommended that companies consider a BEE Strategy plan as a Disaster Management option which they can take into consideration to plan accordingly. The planning can enable a company to reach the desired BEE Level which may set your company apart from your competitors.
How SEESA can assist
As part of our ongoing service, SEESA BEE will still be able to assist your company with the drafting of a personalised BEE Strategy plan calculated on your company’s current financial information and will assist with any advice concerning the implementation of the Strategy plan.
Not only will we be able to assist with the drafting of the BEE Strategy plan, but our professional BEE teams along with the assistance of the independent verification company also places us in the position to assist your company with electronic verification of your BEE Certificate. This will mean your company will still be able to receive or update their BEE Certificate during the period of lockdown.
The sooner a Disaster Management Plan is implemented the sooner the company will become aware of its effectiveness on addressing the current situation. It will also allow a company to become more comfortable with what is expected of them within their company as well as the national role they play within our economy.