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Introduction to the QSE BBBEE codes

Companies must obtain a BBBEE level to do business with other companies or do business with governments. A Qualifying Small Enterprise (QSE) is one of the categories of South African businesses as per the Broad Based Black Economic Empowerment Act. Current QSE BBBEE scoring contains 30 points for skills development. Skills development is therefore a priority element. If the company does not score at least 40% (8 points) of the 25 points (excluding the bonus points) they will automatically drop a level on BBBEE.

Difference between Generic codes and QSE codes

  • The biggest difference is 3% spend for the QSE category compared to the 6% of spend for the Generic category.
  • Disabled spend moves from 0.3% to 0.15% on the QSE Scorecard.
  • QSE is not based on EAP (economically active population) targets but there are 7 points for 1% of the skills being spent on Black Females.
  • No learnership body points, but learnerships still count and there are still bonus points for unemployed learners being absorbed into the workforce, upon completion of the Learnership.

Skills Development points

The 30 skills development points are broken up as follows:

Skills Expenditure on learning Programmes for black people


3% of training spend

Skills Expenditure on learning Programmes for black females


1% of training spend

Skills Expenditure on learning Programmes for disabled black employees


0.15% of training spend

Number of black people absorbed at end of learnership (training tracking tool must be developed)


100% of people absorbed




Skills Expenditure

The company must spend 3% of leviable (skills development levy) payroll on training. This training includes the following:

  • Spend on black people
  • 85% on accredited course (Category B, C, D or E)
  • 15% can be on non-accredited courses (other categories)

The leviable amount includes the following:

  • Normal salary
  • Overtime
  • Leave pays
  • Bonuses
  • Commission
  • Lump sum payment