Corporate bursaries are set to become a more attractive training and development investment than ever before under draft changes to B-BBEE Codes of Good Practice which was gazetted on 29 March 2018. The 60-day public consultation period closed at the end of May, and we should expect the final amendments to be signed into law very soon.

This should really come as no surprise given the State’s recent commitment to free tertiary education for South Africa’s poor: the fiscus can only be stretched so much further, and it is entirely logical that transformation and B-BBEE in the private and public sector be even more closely aligned with the critical need to provide quality education to as many young South Africans as possible.

The mechanics of change in education

Under the proposed new Skills Development targets in the Codes, a total of 4 points have been set aside solely for bursaries for black students at Higher Education Institutions. The target expenditure is now set at 2.5% of the entity’s “leviable amount” (in short, payroll expenses), which is carved out of the current 6% target. The remaining 3.5% must still be allocated to qualifying learning programmes, which may also include additional expenditure on bursaries.

Furthermore, the current 15% cap on unaccredited and informal training will be increased to 25%, which will come as a relief to most.

This means that companies will be able to spend a greater portion of their training and development budgets on internal training and a much greater variety of shorter, job-relevant educational interventions.

10% of Red & Yellow students don’t pay for themselves

These amendments resonate particularly strongly with the Red & Yellow team. This is reflected in our promise that 10% of all Red & Yellow students won’t have to pay for themselves. And combined with our approximately 97% graduate employment rate, these amendments will give us a greater ability to support our clients in ensuring the graduates that they recruit from Red & Yellow will be the truly great entrepreneurs, innovators and leaders for the 21st century.

We believe that education is the only viable and long-term means of transforming our country, re-igniting our economy and reducing income inequality.

B-BBEE and Skills Development Workshops


The proposed changes to the Skills Development element are only a few of a much broader set of fairly complex and important B-BBEE amendments that we can expect to see in the near future.

Red & Yellow will be hosting a FREE breakfast session in Cape Town on Wednesday, 15 August and Johannesburg on Wednesday, 22 August in which we will break down the amendments into plain English and explain how they may (or may not) affect your business. We will also explore how Skills Development can be used to maximum effect to super-charge your business, whilst maximising your transformation efforts and minimising your costs.

RSVP today on our website or email Seats in both cities are limited, and going quickly. Can’t wait to see you there.