Bell’s BBEE plan is on the verge of abyss

Broad-based black economic empowerment scheme unveiled by the country’s heavy duty equipment manufacturer Bell Equipment is tipped on the verge of an abyss.

The metalworkers’ union giant, National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa), excluded from the initial discussion on the scheme has heaped pressure on Bell management to go back on the drawing board, or else the deal will be challenged in the competition commission.

Numsa is extremely enraged that it has been approached at the tail-end of the all-important negotiations in the deal which secured almost 7, 5% shares for employees.

The company has announced the formation of a newly created Bell subsidiary which obtained 30% equity for black partners, with Kagiso Investment Trust receiving 22, 5% shares.

The union also expressed disgust that from its inception the transaction to transfer the empowerment shares was meant not to be inclusive as Numsa officials were only approached to give its approval to the arrangement.

Numsa general secretary Silumko Nondwangu issued a stern warning, pointing out that “the transaction will most certainly get our opposition in the Competition Commission.

We are not in the business of collecting crumbs and we would rather not be part of the deal that is imposed on us,” he added in hard hitting statement.

Although the transaction is still subject to the regulatory approval, the company has indicated that it intended to put it into effect early next year and workers will hold shares in their own name rather than a trust which would ensure that labour union represented workers in the board meetings.

Numsa took a bold initiative against steel and engineering major companies in order to stop them from using selected black elite companies to lock out employees from the real black empowerment transactions.

We are of the view that any meeting sought by the company would have to be about renegotiating the deal in order to ensure wealth distribution also have impact to employees who were responsible for the companies to achieve competitive performance results and lucrative profits.

For further information contact:

Mziwakhe Hlangani, Numsa national spokesperson

Cell phone: 082 9407116

E-mail :


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