We welcome the decision by the BroadBased Black Economic Empowerment (BBBEE) Commission to investigate the possibility that fraudulent black economic empowerment (BEE) certificates may have been issued to Gupta group companies to enable them to obtain government contracts.
The DA asked the commission to probe Tegeta Exploration and Resources, Optimum Coal Mine and the Gupta-linked Trillian Consulting for possibly subverting the economic empowerment legislation in order to get contracts from state power utility Eskom.
According to the DA, its analysis of the certificates shows the companies may have deliberately misrepresented themselves as microenterprises in terms of turnover, which would mean they were exempt from the black empowerment rules.
We agree with the DA that Eskom’s processes for awarding contracts should be thoroughly investigated. At the same time, the commission should diligently look into all cases of alleged fraud and fronting which are brought before it.
This sort of illegal behaviour – whatever your personal opinion may be of black economic empowerment – creates distrust, not only of business in general, but distrust between races.
We need more, not less, trust.