Ownership and BBBEE

RUSTIM ARIEFDIEN explains how the ownership element can benefit people with disabilities and businesses

The benefits of the ownership element of the BBBEE Scorecard may be the most misunderstood element from a disability perspective. Disability can be a direct benefit to a company as a Black Designated Group, which is defined as black people who are persons with disabilities. The understanding of “disability” is defined in the Code of Good Practice on employment of people with disabilities issued under the Employment Equity Act.

If a company does not meet the sub minimum threshold of 40 percent of the eight realisation points under the ownership element, then the company will be discounted by one BBBEE level, this is a huge negative for a company. Points are available to a company as follows:

  • Voting Rights (up to four points)
  • Economic Interest (up to 13 points)
  • Realisation (up to eight points)


To avoid this, a company, for example, should have a black female with a disability who owns at least 10 percent (debt free) of the company. Thus, the company will avoid being discounted and would earn over 20 of the available 25 ownership points.

Furthermore, if this black female with a disability forms part of the management structure, additional points can be scored. In the scenario of the black female with a disability owning 10 percent of the company, holding a position on the company’s board and being employed as an executive manager then another four points out of 15 points for the management element would be scored.

If other companies are procuring items or services from the company in question, they would earn additional points on their BBBEE Scorecard. This is a significant benefit for the company. Black men with disabilities are also good candidates, although less points would be earned.

In order to work towards the above scenario, companies need to identify a candidate who wouldmeetthecriteriaandeither“gift”aportion of the company or come to a sales agreement. Of course, no company would simply “gift” their business, therefore, it is important to identify someone who can add value to the business.

So, how does a black person with a disability demonstrate themselves to a company as a BBBEE investment? The areas in which you could add value to the company is in the following areas:

  • Marketing: Are you able to use your profile as a black shareholder with a disability to generate leads?
  • Sales: Can you secure sales for the company?
  • Operations: Are you able to add value to the company’s value chain?
  • Human Resources: Are you able to add to the body of knowledge of disability towards ensuring the company’s compliance with Employment Equity Act legislation?


Needless to say, having skills in entrepreneurship, commerce or management including marketing, sales, finance, operations or human resources could be advantageous. Should a person with a disability wish to prospect towards the ownership of a company, then acquiring these skills would be paramount.

In the endeavour to acquire the skills the individual could seek Skills Development funding from the company towards their upskilling. The opportunities are endless.

contributorRustim Ariefdien is a disability expert extraordinaire who assists businesses to “let the Ability of disAbility enAble their profitAbility” through BBBEE, skills development, employment equity and socio-economic development. His purpose is the economic empowerment of persons with disability in Africa. As a person with a disability himself, he has extensive experience in the development and empowerment of persons with disability.

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