S.Africa accountancies to expand black ownership: report

5th May 2011, Comments 0 comments

Major accounting firms in South Africa will be 32.5 percent black-owned by 2016, under new rules agreed between government and the companies, Business Day reported Thrusday.

The "big four" accountancies -- PricewaterhouseCoopers, Deloitte, KPMG and Ernst & Young -- have largely complied with a 25 percent equity target set out under the code of good practice in government's affirmative action programme.

But black-owned firms had pushed for a 40-percent equity target. The compromise was agreed after seven years of talks.

The new rules will be published next week, affecting firms with turnover of more than 35 million rand ($5.2 million, 3.5 million euros), it said.

The deal falls under South Africa's black economic empowerment policies introduced in 2003, to redress apartheid-era laws which barred most black people from any meaningful economic activity.

Tsakani Matshazi, head of the chairwoman of the Chartered Accountants Charter Council, said the new rules would also increase the number of black accountants in South Africa.

The number of black chartered accountants has jumped 237 percent since 2002, to about 5,300, according to the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants.

"Without enough chartered accountants, organisations will struggle to allocate resources for vital services and ensure they are used wisely," said Matshazi.

"For businesses to prosper and investors to support them, they need highly qualified accountants, auditors and skilled financial managers," she said.

© 2011 AFP

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