ANC’s destructive BBBEE net widens to property sector

Issued by Michael Bagraim MP – DA Shadow Minister of Employment and Labour
03 May 2024 in News

On 13 March 2024, the Property Practitioners Regulatory Authority (PPRA) declared its intention to deny the issuance of or renew Fidelity Fund certificates for businesses with less than 40 points (level 8) on a BEE scorecard.

Since the Property Practitioners Act mandates all “property practitioners” to have a fidelity fund certificate, the PPRA is in effect trying to make it illegal to operate a property related business unless you are BBBEE compliant.

This is an existential threat to the industry, which mostly consists of small and medium-sized operations. Failure to meet the PPRA’s demands could subject these businesses to significant legal costs and the risk of losing their operational licenses.

This requirement is unlawful, harmful, and also unconstitutional. Political compliance should never be a prerequisite for conducting private business and adding value to society. It is unjust for property owners and prospective buyers to be barred from engaging in property transactions by state-enforced racial prerequisites.

It is disgraceful that the ANC once again seeks to use BBBEE certificate as a political tool in a country that operates within the framework of a Constitution that upholds the fundamental principle of non-racialism as a pillar of our democratic society.

These developments represent the ANC’s third stage of the reprehensible racialisation of our legislative framework.

The initial stage in the 1990s saw increased cross-racial business deals without legal mandates. The second stage began in the early 2000s was broadly characterised by the Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (BBBEE) Act (2003) and the Preferential Procurement Policy Framework Act (2000) – it mandated organisations to be ‘BEE compliant’ before taking part in transactions with the state.

Over the last five years, a third, more aggressive, stage has emerged. From farming to property sales, the ANC seeks to enforce these racial requirements not just to state business but to all commercial activity and professional licensing.

Such a universal horizontal enforcement will subject all economic activity to the ANC’s political oversight and seeks to further entrench the party’s destructive state-centric approach to governance through perverse racial social engineering.

Reintroducing racial discrimination on such an unprecedented scale is highly reminiscent of the pre-1994 era. But the ruling party’s motive has become ever more clear – divide and rule as they face the possibility of losing their majority in the 2024 elections.

The DA will join civil society in opposing this perverse attempt and submit our own opposition to it. We will not allow the ANC to further implement its crude and counterinitiative policies that entrenched the world’s highest unemployment, youth unemployment, and inequality rate in the world.

On 29 May South Africans will have the opportunity to remove the ANC, which destroyed the South African economy, and elect a government that can. It is only a DA government that can unleash the limitless potential of our labour force and course correct the trajectory of South Africa’s economy towards a prosperous truly non-racial future.