In December 2009, President Zuma announced the establishment of the BEE Council. The aim of the Council is to advise government on BEE and review progress in achieving true empowerment. At the industry specific, micro-level the Exhibition and Event Association of Southern Africa (EXSA) under the guidance of Nigel Walker, the Association's Treasurer, decided to undertake an exhibition industry review in order to establish the current status quo.
Natalie Naude, Chair of the Association commented upon the outcome of the research saying "assuming that the current membership of the Association broadly represents the industry as a whole, it is thus very encouraging that 80% of the exhibition industry currently have a B-BBEE verification certificate or are currently obtaining such a certificate".
Furthermore 58% of companies within the exhibition industry are currently verified as, or greater than a level 4 contributor (100%). This overall average level can be refined across distinct sectors within the broad industry according to Venues (60%); Suppliers (59%) and Organisers (47%).
Of the 33% who do not have a verification certificate, 13% are currently in the process of an assessment and obtaining verification. 'Only' 20% of the industry do not have, or are not currently in the process of assessment and verification. Whereas all venues within the exhibition industry either have or are in the process of obtaining verification, nearly a quarter of Organisers and 22% of Suppliers have no verification certificate or indeed are not in the process of obtaining one.
Natalie says that "this base-line research will be periodically repeated in order to track changes within the industry. Through this research we have identified specific opportunities for the Association to provide targeted information to our Members, which will directly benefit a significant portion of our Membership."