The EU Chamber of Commerce & Industry in Southern Africa says the tricky job of interpreting broad-based black economic empowerment (BBBEE) policies and the costs of implementing them are among the top challenges for European investors in SA. It says members report a growing emphasis on ownership over other aspects of policy, such as supply chain or skills development, and this is "compromising existing operations". "An increasing number of tenders by state-owned enterprises (SOEs) in SA include a requirement of 51% black ownership for their suppliers," says Stefan Sakoschek, the chamber’s national executive director. He says the chamber has been told that "such a discretionary measure lacks sound legal basis". That’s because it requires pre-approval from the department of trade & industry (DTI), based on studies of skills levels and other market dynamics. EU companies account for more than 500,000 jobs, direct and indirect, in SA. The 27-member EU bloc is SA’s largest trading partn...

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