South Africa Drafts black empowerment code to increase black chartered accountants in the country

South Africa’s department of trade and industry has gazetted a revised draft of the chartered accountancy profession sector code to increase the number of blacks who own and manage companies in the accounting sector.

In the Gazette, the department said its goal is to increase the number of black chartered accountants, particularly women, in ownership and management of chartered accounting companies. The calls to transform the industry has been increasing in the past months.

It was discovered by the trade department that right from high school down to the workplace, blacks in South Africa faced a number of challenges that locked them out of the accounting profession. Even those who eventually studied accounting, leave the public practice due to higher salaries in the private sector to avoid the high risks of public practices including litigation and inadequate career planning.

According to the revised draft, “The vision of the chartered accountancy (CA) profession sector code is to grow the number of black people in the CA profession to reflect the country’s population demographics, to empower and enable them to meaningfully participate in and sustain the growth of the economy, thereby advancing equal opportunity and equitable income distribution.”

As a way to lure more blacks into the accounting profession, it was recommended that auditing be sold as an exciting career option that companies have career development plans for chartered accountants and other professionals and that black partners play a bigger role in the delivery of technical services and practice management. However, if career development plans for the black accountants are not put in place and those who eventually see through the charade and switch.