BUSINESS REPORT (Mercury) Page 19
Wiseman Khuzwayo COMPANIES can now buy credits towards their compliance with black economic empowerment (BEE) legislation. The state-owned National Empowerment Fund (NEF) has established an enterprise development fund to which companies can contribute to gain enterprise development points. The NEF is a statutory body that provides financial and non-fmancial support to blackempowered businesses. The company contributions will be done in accordance with the codes of good practice on broad-based BEE scorecard, which has a total of 100 points in seven elements for compliance with BEE requirements. Philisiwe Buthelezi, the chief executive of the NEF, said that to get the maximum of 15 points on enterprise development, a company should give 3 percent of its net profit after tax to the fund while retaining its core business. The minimum contribution a company can make is R5 million. However, for corporations that wish to contribute less than 3 percent, the points are calculated on a pro rata basis.