Flow Communications achieves Level 1 B-BBEE status

Communications agency Flow Communications is proud to announce that it has elevated its Broad-based Black Economic Empowerment (B-BBEE) scorecard to Level 1.

“One of Flow’s values as a multicultural organisation is that ‘people are our most important asset’, which resonates well with our new Level 1 status and with the government’s B-BBEE goals,” says Flow chairman Bheki Shongwe.

“Our company mission is to work with people we like on work we love, particularly work that helps to make the world a better place – our new rating will be an added advantage in this regard.”

Achieving an improved B-BBEE status has put the company in a stronger position to offer clients added value, by improving their own B-BBEE scorecard.

“B-BBEE is one of Flow’s key strategic imperatives and we realise the opportunity our new status opens up for Flow, its staff, and for the country as a whole,” says managing director Tiffany Turkington-Palmer.

“We recognise and embrace the importance and value of B-BBEE and we use the key principles of skills development, staff equity, procurement and CSI to drive many areas of our business.

“We are immensely proud of our Level 1 status.”

Over the past decade Flow has nurtured a culture of hard work, passion and innovation, tempered by a sense of fun and adventure, an achievement it values greatly.

Starting with an accreditation of Level 4 in March 2012, the company moved up in subsequent years to reach Level 1 in 2015, having met four chosen criteria from a total of seven.

“Attaining a Level 1 B-BBEE status has been a very exciting milestone for Flow,” says accountant Nam Madokwe. “I won’t say it wasn’t hard work, but it was work that we all prepared for and planned in advance.”

With 100% scores for ownership, enterprise development and socio-economic development, and a 102% reflecting bonus points in management control, the company is well positioned to take on the challenges of the government’s new B-BBEE criteria.

The B-BBEE Codes of Good Practice is a government initiative launched in 2007 to address inequality, promote economic growth and ultimately create a better life for all South Africans.

Whereas B-BBEE accreditation requirements to date have afforded companies the latitude to select criteria in which they were particularly strong, and ignore those in which they weren’t, the new codes are interventionist and mandatory.

The seven existing criteria of the soon-to-be replaced codes – ownership, management control, employment equity, skills development, preferential procurement, enterprise development and socio-economic development – have been reduced by the government to five by combining enterprise development with preferential procurement, and management control with employment equity.

Flow’s financial director, Bev Strimer, acknowledges that the new codes reveal certain elements within the company structure that require further attention.

“Having a Level 1 rating increases our business opportunities, and makes Flow appealing as a potential business partner and service provider due to our excellent credentials.

“However, as we have done in the past, Flow is taking BEE very seriously going forward. We have put an action plan in place to achieve compliance in terms of the new codes.”

According to the Government Gazette, the transition period for compliance with the new B-BBEE codes has been extended to April 2015 to allow companies to comply.

Although there is currently no legal obligation for companies to comply with B-BBEE targets, having a good status is advantageous when entering tenders, particularly for government and public-sector work.

Clients in the private sector are also paying closer attention to the benefits of B-BBEE accreditation, and expect suppliers to have a minimum B-BBEE rating that automatically boosts their own.