The Financial Sector Code (FSC) for Black Economic Empowerment was launched in Johannesburg on Tuesday, 16 July, by the Minister of Trade and Industry, Dr Rob Davies, and Minister of Finance, Pravin Gordhan. First signed in 2003 by The Minister of Finance and nine trade associations representing the financial sector at the time, it was a landmark achievement for the financial sector as this sector was amongst the first economic sectors to agree on a voluntary code for transformation. The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) gazetted the FSC in December last year under section 9(1) of the BEE Act.
Financial sector crucial in South Africa’s economic transformation
The Code is the product of extensive consultation and carries the endorsement of the Labour and Community constituencies of the National Economic Development and Labour Council (Nedlac), Business as represented by the financial sector trade associations (ASISA, BASA, SAIA and IBA), Government as represented by the Department of Trade and Industry, National Treasury and the Presidency, and the Association of Black Securities and Investment Professionals (ABSIP). All the constituents involved in negotiating the Code were commended for their determination to create something that is unique to the financial sector, ultimately benefitting all stakeholders. The Code provides the financial sector, the country’s biggest contributor to the national GDP, with a clear roadmap on how to build on existing achievements in black economic empowerment to the benefit of all stakeholders. The Code is also the framework against which the empowerment progress of the financial sector is measured.
The Code is unique in that it includes the Empowerment Financing and Access to Financial Services provisions from the old Financial Sector Charter in the scorecard, but with increased targets, in addition to the seven standard elements that form part of the generic Department of Trade and Industry Codes.
The aim of including the Empowerment Financing and Access to Financial Services elements in the scorecard is to advance the transformation process at a faster pace, across the broader economy.
The Code is a commitment by the financial sector to contribute to the development of the country through the financing of infrastructure, low cost housing, small business, and agriculture as well as ensuring greater access to financial services. Furthermore, the financial sector is required by the Code to finance transactions that ensure greater empowerment.”
The Financial Sector Charter Council Board consists of representatives from organised labour, community, government (Department of Trade and Industry, National Treasury and the Presidency), the Association of Black Securities and Investment Professionals (ABSIP), and the financial sector trade associations, namely the Association for Savings and Investment South Africa (ASISA), the Banking Association of South Africa (BASA), the South African Insurance Association (SAIA) and the International Banking Association (IBA). The JSE is also represented through ASISA.
Trade Associations: Bridget Mokwena-Halala (Chairperson), Ruth Benjamin-Swales, Trevor Chandler, Barry Scott, Donna Oosthuyse, Cassim Coovadia
Community: Collette Caine, Solomon Mapaila, Moeketsi Rakgosi
Government: Ismail Momoniat, Rudi Dicks, Ingrid Goodspeed
ABSIP: Polo Radebe, Asief Mohamed Labour: Isaac Ramputa, George Strauss
Finance Minister, Pravin Gordhan, Minister of Trade and Industry, Rob Davie and FSC Council member, Polo Radebe, all reiterated the FSC’s commitment to supporting SMMEs and entrepreneurs.
Follow the link below to see more photos taken at the launch: