The Fees Must Fall movement was a wake-up call for even casual observers of South African politics. Whatever you think of the protesting students’ tactics and demands, it is clear that higher education in South Africa faces serious problems. Fortunately, it’s an area in which B-BBEE can make a difference.
In response to the Fees Must Fall movement, the government placed greater emphasis on the B-BBEE component focusing on bursaries for higher education. Following changes in legislation, a special category was added to the B-BBEE codes for bursaries for black students at Higher Education Institutions.
For B-BBEE-compliant businesses, the amendments raise two important considerations. Firstly, how can you ensure your bursary programme makes a real difference to South Africa’s education crisis? And second, how can you ensure that your company implements a bursary solution that effectively enhances your B-BBEE scorecard?
Asking the right questions
Given the range of possible bursary solutions, the specific way you implement your company’s bursary programme will be unique to each case. However, there are clear basic principles that will apply in most cases. Here are three critical questions to ask when seeking the right BBBEE bursary partner.
1. Are they properly accredited?
This may be the fundamental question. It’s not sufficient that an organisation provides good quality education or skills that are useful for the job market. To meet the B-BBEE criteria, your bursary partner must be a properly accredited higher education institution.
2. Do they have a proven track record?
Once you’re satisfied with basic compliance questions, you can start thinking about the kind of institution you want to work with. For example, you may prefer to fund bursaries for accredited smaller colleges that provide specialised skills relevant to your industry. In these cases, it’s important not just to assess their current input. Do they have a proven track record of developing skills over time? And do learners who graduate from these institutions find employment in their chosen sector?
3. Are they a good strategic fit?
Finally, you need to place your potential bursary solution partners in a broader strategic context. For example, does it make strategic sense to place bursary recipients into work experience programmes upon graduation? If so, choosing a bursary partner becomes a critical step in a broader integrated B-BBEE strategy.
Putting your B-BBEE bursary strategy together
Each of the three steps is critical, but the real impact and value of a bursary programme comes effectively combining them into a coherent vision.
BEE123’s expertise, experience and network of partners enables us to provide an integrated B-BBEE bursary solution that allows your company to leverage its resources to produce the greatest impact.
We’ll carefully assess your business. What you do. The sector you operate in. And, no less importantly, what your vision for a more inclusive South African economy is.
And we’ll craft a tailored plan to ensure you don’t just have a B-BBEE bursary plan, you have an integrated B-BBEE bursary solution that delivers maximum benefit to your business while delivering sustainable real-world impact.