Long-awaited BEE watchdog body to be launched

Waghied Misbach

Waghied Misbach

A long-awaited black economic empowerment (BEE) watchdog body will be launched in three months to monitor black involvement in the economy.

The announcement comes in the wake of President Thabo Mbeki acknowledging in his state of the nation speech that the statistics on the advancement of blacks remained "woefully low".

The Black Economic Advisory Council will include 15 members from outside government, including labour, business and civil society.

Ministers from economic cluster ministries - including Treasury, Labour, and Trade and Industry - will also sit on the body.

Trade and Industry Minister Mandisi Mpahlwa yesterday said the body could now be formed in the wake of the gazetting - or official publication - of the codes of good practice on broad-based black economic empowerment.

Two sector charters - for finance and construction - were also gazetted. Other BEE charters will be finalised from other sectors this year.

The codes were approved late last year by the cabinet.