The Disabled – making BBBEE work for your supply chain


Dr Ivor Blumenthal | CEO | ArkKonsult | mail me |


A sceptic may observe that BBBEE is trying to be everything to everyone. That on the one hand it is trying to ensure the levelling of playing fields for Black, Indian Coloured and naturalised Chinese people amongst a workforce which has traditionally been white and male dominated. At the same time BBBEE is trying to level the playing fields for women and the disabled.

It appears to those who choose to criticise BBBEE policy, that such a wide variety of beneficiaries may be considered far too distracting. However, the reality is that each of these target groups are the legitimate and historically disadvantaged targets for BBBEE that we very definitely and precisely are required as civil society to attend to because they have been overlooked in the past and consequently have caused massive lesions in our society.

Focusing on each of these groups as legitimate beneficiaries of BBBEE policy, is what earns and accrues reward and points and enhanced BBBEE recognition for companies which are prepared to do the right things.

BBBEE in South Africa is nothing other than systematic social engineering.

Yes, it’s difficult and it requires more energy than would ordinarily be required in dealing with suppliers who are not disabled, but the rewards are also commensurately more in-terms of BBBEE recognition and bonus points to be gained in the process. Points which can mean the difference between one BBBEE level and the next. Points which alleviate the need to focus just as intensely on more difficult and harder to reach areas.

Dealing with disabled inclusion in your supply chain, demands nothing more than strategically planning for the inclusion of people of colour from whom procurement will become preferential, desired and sought after, alongside your more traditional and historically favoured suppliers. The fact that some of those suppliers, a small marginal number, may be disabled, is a consequence of clever and appropriate selection, beneficiation and contracting. It doesn’t have to preoccupy your procurement professionals to the extent that they stop focusing on core business.

In the world of procurement, one should begin by

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