Rob Wilkie

Corruption has become endemic in both the private and public sectors. Perpetrators have little regard for the law and openly flaunt their gains. Each day we hear about tenderpreneurs, a term used to describe those who win tender contracts based on personal connections and corrupt relationships.

Where did this all start? Perhaps the big BEE transactions done by some of our blue chip companies set a precedent? Board room deals, financially unsustainable, benefitting a few elite and politically connected persons. Fronting and buying favouritism; this is corruption.

BEE deals were meant to compensate the previously disadvantaged but sadly have only widened the gap between rich and poor.

Small business can make a difference. If you’re contemplating BEE, do it for the right reasons. For if it is to work it must make a meaningful contribution to uplifting employees and the communities’ in which they live. Run an internship program, adopt a school, sponsor an entrepreneur, set up a community forum that holds local government accountable, lead a litter “clean-up” campaign. And even if you are not contemplating BEE, do this anyway. As Ghandi said “we must become the change we want to see in the world”.

- By Rob Wilkie, CFO Softline and Sage AAMEA