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Media Statement UKTI

Johannesburg 30 October 2012.



The United Kingdom (UK) is among South Africa’s ‘Premier League’ of trading partners, with an annual bilateral trade of over £9bn. UK investment in South Africa totals some £10.5bn, which means over 54% of FDI into South Africa originates from the UK or from UK based global companies. As a leading empowerment financier, the National Empowerment Fund (NEF), an agency of the dtic with a mandate to grow black enterprises through innovative funding models, will host a workshop with UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) to assist UK companies to access the NEF structure.

UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) is the Government department that helps UK-based companies succeed in the global economy. There are numerous opportunities in South Africa for leading UK companies to partner locally with their innovative, world-class products, services and technology in different sectors of the economy. UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) is the UK Government department that helps UK-based companies succeed in the global economy. With the South African Government’s major infrastructure programme aimed at accelerating growth and creating jobs, UKTI, South Africa is well placed to work with the NEF and UK companies with relevant key strengths and capabilities to help deliver on these high priority projects.
Companies doing business in South Africa need to be aware of B-BBEE, the legislation involved in rectifying past inequalities, and how to comply with this when doing business here. Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (B-BBEE), often referred to simply as ‘BEE’, is a key element to doing business in South Africa. It is the cornerstone of the South African Government’s efforts to grow a sustainable economy and skill the huge sector of the population that was disadvantaged under the past regime. It aims to accelerate the participation of black people in the economy.

“B-BBEE intends to achieve this by encouraging change in seven key areas of business: ownership; management control; employment equity; skills development; preferential procurement; enterprise development; and corporate social investment”, says Ms Philisiwe Buthelezi NEF CEO.

According to Ms Philisiwe Buthelezi B-BBEE compliance is not legally binding on private companies in South Africa. However, the government uses a number of mechanisms through which adherence to the codes is strongly encouraged.

The B-BBEE codes are binding on all government bodies and State-Owned Enterprises and as a result, these institutions have to procure from companies that comply with the requirements of this legislation. This cascades down through the economy, as the government’s first-tier suppliers require their own suppliers to be compliant so that they can achieve/maintain their own B-BBEE status.

The NEF’s Enterprise Development Fund is designed to help meet the objectives of Code 600 as set out in the BEE Codes of Good Practice by providing a means by which private sector multinationals (domiciled in the UK but operating within South Africa) can partner with the NEF to develop key projects. This allows qualifying private sector enterprises to make contributions to the existing NEF Enterprise Development Fund (“NEF ED Fund”), which are then utilised to co-finance investments in major enterprise development projects.

This joint initiative will encourage the development of projects in various sectors of the economy, and will also add to and maintain effective partnerships which give priority to initiatives matching the NEF’s and South Africa’s strategic objectives.

“Meeting the requirements of the B-BBEE Code 600 is a key factor in the success of companies doing business in South Africa. UKTI’s work with the NEF can help UK companies to meet those requirements as efficiently as possible and add to the growth and sustainability of South Africa’s economy” said UKTI Trade


Notes for Editors:

About the National Empowerment Fund


  • The NEF is a premier leading developmental finance agency established by the National Empowerment Fund Act No 105 of 1998 in order to promote and facilitate black economic equality and transformation. Its mandate and mission are to be a catalyst for Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (B-BBEE) in South Africa.
  • The objectives of the NEF are to finance and support business enterprises owned and managed by black entrepreneurs, as well as to promote savings and investment schemes for black people and, in so doing, to develop an understanding of equity ownership and a culture of savings amongst its beneficiaries.
  • To date the NEF has approved in excess of R4, 4 billion for black business with R2, 7 billion disbursed.
  • Of the approved funds R800 million has supported 233 SME’s, with over R108 million approved for rural community development deals, supporting 31 000 jobs.
  • Until the Asonge Share Scheme was launched in June 2007, the activities of the NEF centred principally on providing financing and support for black empowered business and entrepreneurs.
  • The NEF through the Post Investment Department offers a free mentorship program aimed at improving the chances of funded businesses succeeding.
  • The establishment and promotion of a savings and investment culture amongst all black people, supported by clear and accessible savings and investment products, is key to assisting South Africans to move to full participation in the first economy.

For further information on the NEF please visit



About UK Trade and Investment


UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) is the Government department that helps UK-based companies succeed in the global economy. Their range of expert services is tailored to the needs of individual businesses to help maximise international success. UKTI offers expertise and contacts through its extensive network of specialists in the UK and in British embassies and other diplomatic offices around the world. They not only provide companies with knowledge but also give advice and practical support. UKTI offers bespoke business services that include relevant research and contacts in the chosen markets and sectors, as well as providing focused business advice and support. UKTI provides UK companies with the tools they require to be competitive on the world stage.

Visit for more.


UK Factfile
UK engineering excellence, UK energy innovation, UK digital/ICT, the UK’s world-leading creative industries and financial services, UK education, UK capability in the infrastructure sector and demonstrate how the UK is playing a major role in healthcare, both in leading-edge research and as a source of innovative products and solutions ( most showcased recently around the Olympics).

Some examples (related to infrastructure needs):

British standards and codes are recognised globally and form the basis of governance in many construction industries.

  • UK contractors and consultants operate within leading consortia in almost every country in the world, providing the necessary design, project management and quality expertise to deliver major projects. They have developed particular capabilities in urban regeneration, as a result of the recent transformation of cities such as London, Manchester and Newcastle. This expertise is now being exported globally.
  • The UK’s advanced transport infrastructure enables its logistics industry to take advantage of improvements in vehicle technology, emissions reduction and increased levels of supply chain efficiency, resulting in high customer satisfaction and lower running costs.
  • In the rail sector, UK firms are recognised internationally for their expertise in railway restructuring and public-private partnerships (PPP). In particular, they have a lot to contribute in markets with significant project business or those that are undergoing active reform.
  • The UK has one of the most diverse private sector port industries in the world. It has over 100 seaports, ranging from major container and passenger terminals to fishing ports, oil and gas terminals and marinas. UK exports cover port management, logistics and design consultancy, with particular expertise in security.
  • UK companies have recently worked on the design and construction of airports such as Kuala Lumpur, Hong Kong and Beijing Terminal 3.
  • UK water companies have international experience in working with governments to deliver highly-efficient and environmentally-sustainable water and wastewater systems. Its advanced engineering capability is being increasingly harnessed to find solutions to the ever-growing and constantly-changing demands of the global water and environment sector. The industry is backed by academics from the UK’s world-leading universities, which also boast sophisticated laboratory and test facilities, and highly-specialised engineers and technicians.

The recent Armitt Report highlighted the exceptional ingenuity and engineering skills deployed by British companies in ensuring the Olympic Park used 66% less potable water than would otherwise be expected. The Armitt Report noted that many companies were securing major contracts around the world as a consequence of the expertise they had acquired.

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