Gain insight into YES

This is the fourth in a series of ‘Beyond the Boardroom’ articles addressing all aspects of the Codes. In this article, BEE123 introduces the recently launched YES123 Programme.

In the ‘Beyond the Boardroom’ series, the members of the BEE123 Advisory Team share unique insights as to what drives successful transformation. The BEE123 Advisory Team represents a unique set of skills with its collective expertise gained first-hand from a corporate, verification and consulting perspective. The BEE123 Advisory Team, led by Managing Director Saul Symanowitz, is made up of Micah Gengan, Rene Van Der Walt, Yonela Ntsaluba, Bhavna Maharaj, Tando Dubeni, Nokulunga Sithebe and Denvor Phokaners.

BEE 1 | It’s an Epidemic

As Youth month passed through the calendar and we enter the third quarter of 2019, the Government has to make bold decisions to tackle unemployment, especially in terms of Youth unemployment, in significant numbers. Today, most indexes rating unemployment place South Africa firmly at the top of the list. The Spectator Index places South Africa comfortably in first place with 27% unemployment. The reality is that unemployment is the greatest challenge facing South Africa today. In fact, South Africa’s unemployment rate has been consistently measured above 20%.

Unemployment is a national crisis that feeds two of the country’s other significant socio-economic challenges: poverty and inequality. Ultimately, South Africa’s unemployment challenges reflect that the demand for labour has not adapted to the relative abundance of unskilled labour. Vimal Ranchhod, a professor of economics at the University of Cape Town’s School of Economics and the acting director of the Southern Africa Labour and Development Research Unit, highlights three burning issues. “Firstly, South Africa has several industries with only a few players who dominate the market. Such dominance can lead to a lack of competition, stifled innovation, and present barriers to entry for new, small businesses, which has an impact on job creation.

“Design and structure your Yes Program smartly to ensure both scorecard and strategic benefits for your organisation.”

Saul Symanowitz

Secondly, for historical reasons again, we have a low-trust society. Such mistrust manifests in excessive bureaucracy and labour disputes that are costly to both workers and organisations. The effect of this is that employers can become highly risk-averse when considering applicants with little work experience or lower levels of qualifications. Again, the net result is the reduction of employment below its potential.

Thirdly, investors are wary of risks that might affect their return on investments. Such trends include threats to property rights, social and political instability, and perceived levels of corruption.

If people are not willing to invest in a country, it is almost impossible to generate new jobs.”

Currently, there are no clear or immediate solutions to the unemployment epidemic1.”Reality is that expanded unemployment is 9.9 million people. Between the first quarter of 2009 and the first quarter of 2019, 3.6 million people joined the unemployment queue – an average of just less than 1,000 people a day over a decade. Put another way, only about 43% of South African adults work. In most developing countries, the figure is 60% or more. The stats for Youth unemployment supersede this.

The scale of the challenge is difficult to comprehend but vital. Think of it this way: of South Africa’s nine provinces, only Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal are home to more than 9.9 million people. The total working-age population in the Northern, Eastern and Western Cape combined is 9.7 million. To halve unemployment, South Africa would require 11 times the number of jobs that currently exist.

“Have discussions with your Yes Employees surrounding their career development. This opportunity may open their eyes to a career path they previously did not know would be available to them.”

Micah Gengan

Another factor to take into account is that between 2008 and 2019 the Youth population increased by more than 2 million, yet the number of young people who had jobs fell by almost 500 000.

BEE 2 | Oh Yes

Introduced in 2018, the Yes 4 Youth (Yes) initiative was not by any means meant to be the silver bullet to solve the unemployment epidemic facing South Africa today. However, it is a move in the right direction. This unique collaboration between business and Government focuses on one country, one movement and one clear focus – driving Youth employment, whilst cleverly linking into the B-BBEE Scorecard Over the past year, the Yes initiative has created more than 18,000 12-month work experiences, which indicates that this initiative has the legs to make a dent in the dire unemployment statistics.

Yes is a not-for-profit organisation that is a business-driven initiative, breaking new ground by pioneering a partnership between Government, business and labour, in collectively tackling a national plan to build economic pathways for the ‘Black’ Youth. Given the scale and implications of South Africa’s Youth unemployment situation, the country cannot afford to fail.

“Get to know your Yes Candidate. Use the same recruitment process you follow for all employees.””

Yonela Ntsaluba

Yes has become a critical tool for organisations to move up one or two levels on their B-BBEE Scorecard while investing in building the employability of the Youth. BEE123 has embraced the initiative as a mechanism for change and the difference it can make to the career path of a Yes Employee.

BEE 3 | BEE123 drives YES123

The objective of the YES123 Programme is to provide opportunities and support with the facilitation, administration and management of an organisation’s Yes Programme. The YES123 support mechanism affords organisations a customised and holistic turnkey solution that incorporates:

Programme Design Recruitment Hosting Facilitation Training
Oversight and feedback Administration and payroll management Tax/incentive optimisation and assistance Tax/incentive optimisation and assistance

BEE 4 | Programme Design

From the outset, BEE123 will assist organisations with designing a customised
Yes Programme. Following engagement sessions to understand specific objectives and requirements, YES123 will craft a bespoke Yes Programme that is strategically aligned with an organisation’s overall business strategy.

The YES123 approach ensures a value-adding outcome to both the organisation and the Yes Employee.

BEE 5 | Recruitment

Having the right Yes Employee is a critical factor for the success of the YES123 Programme. Therefore, recruiting a suitable Yes Employee is a vital first step in the process.

“Implement Yes effectively to maximize the impact. Ensure the Yes Employee exits the programme with skills they can use in the future.”

Nokulunga Sithebe

The YES123 Programme provides an end-to-end recruitment solution, including a range of assessments, screening, eligibility determination, suitability vetting, aptitude and skill set evaluations, as well as considerations to geographic proximity to host and more.

Following the selection process, the best matched Yes Candidates would be presented for personal engagements and ultimate selection.

BEE 6 | Yes Hosting Facilitation

Some organisations do not have the internal capacity to host a Yes Employee. However, the YES123 Programme allows organisations to sponsor a Yes Employee to another organisation.

With a full understanding of the labour rights of a Yes Employee and the requirement to offer quality work experience, the YES123 Programme will align a Yes Employee to a sponsored organisation.

“Ensure that all support structures like mentors, support staff, tracking procedures and administration support are in place before implementing Yes This will allow for a ‘smoother’ process.”

Bhavna Maharaj

BEE 7 | Training

Adequate and appropriate training of a Yes Employee is paramount to the ultimate success of an organisation’s Yes Programme. It is imperative that a Yes Employee has the skills and confidence to deliver on their mandate to optimise their host organisation’s B-BBEE Scorecard.

The YES123 Programme is designed to provide a Yes Employee with a set of skills and readiness to meaningfully drive an organisation’s B-BBEE Strategy. Besides being an investment in a Yes Employee, The Yes 123 Programme will boost the Skills Development element of an organisation’s scorecard.

BEE 8 | Oversight and Feedback

Over the 12-month contract period of a Yes Employee, the YES123 Programme provides engagement and monitoring. Mechanisms are in place for feedback to consistently channelled to the host organisation, so that they can track the progress of their Yes Employee at all times.

BEE 9 | Administration and Payroll Management

The YES123 Programme removes the administrative burden on organisations. Processes are in place to seamlessly administer Yes registration assistance, payroll administration, document management and the compilation of a file of evidence necessary for a B-BBEE verification.

“While allowing Youth to gain work experience, organisations get an opportunity to discover untapped talent.”

Tando Dubeni

BEE 10 | Target

Yes Eligibility – The pre-requisite requirements to participate in Yes are based on organisations achieving 40% Sub-minimum requirements for each Priority Element or attaining a 50% average across all three Priority Elements. In addition, to qualify for points and a scorecard boost, an organisation must maintain or improve their previous year’. Status Level. Failing this, special dispensation can be applied for through the DTI.

Yes Targets – There are three formulas to determine the number of Yes Employees required by organisations to meet their Yes obligations. Target are determined by the largest outcome of all three formulas outlined in the table below.

1 Headcount 1.5% of prior year employees
2 NPAT 1.5% of Average NPAT over the last three years / R55 000
3 Table Revenue Based

Level up – The potential scorecard boost for the absorption of Yes Employees is
illustrated below:

Achieve Yes Target and 2.5 % Absorption Level up 1
Achieve 1.5 x Yes Target and 5% Absorption Awarded 3 Bonus Points plus Level up 1
Achieve 2 x Yes Target and 5% Absorption Level up 2

BEE123 is a content contributor and strategic partner to TFM Magazine.