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Should Your Business Say “Yes” To YES?

Should Your Business Say “Yes” To YES?

Jesse Cloete

Understanding Y.E.S, the Youth Empowerment Service Programme
While we have seen growing market, applications having a slowed uptake. Multiple communications issued by different stakeholders within the industry have added to the confusion.
This issue covers how YES came to be, how it is regulated, and what you need to apply for participation.
Background, Definition, and Purpose
The Youth Employment Service, known as YES, is an initiative under the B-BBEE Codes of good practice aimed at promoting employment for black youth i.e. “Black People” as per B-BBEE Code’s definition, namely, African, Coloured, and Indian individuals who are South African Citizens by birth or decent. Participants must be between 18 and 35 years old and unemployed.
The YES programme was released on 25 August 2018 under Gazette number 41866 in the hopes of combatting the stubbornly high unemployment levels for youth. Statistics from Stats SA reports up to 2017stated a staggering total of 5.9 million unemployed youth.
From its inception, we have noted a steady increase in the unemployment rate from 54.7% in January 2019 to 66.5% as of July 2021 (the most recent stats available). The impact of COVID-19 on the SA economy is a significant contributor to this figure.
Despite these hardships and challenges, the YES programme has, to date, achieved admirable results.

  • More than 72,000 jobs created
  • Over 1,878 companies involved
  • More than R4 billion revenue for the economy
  • More than 650 bonus B-BBEE levels were granted to participating companies.

About YES Regulation
Naming conventions can be confusing because the regulator bears the same name as the initiative. The Youth Employment Service, also known as YES or (for distinction), is an NPC assigned as the principal regulator for the YES programme. They provide the necessary facilitation to the industry and process all applications related to YES.
As the YES programme falls under the B-BBEE Codes, the requirements are further regulated by the South African National Accreditation Services (SANAS), The Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (DTIC).
Your Verification Agency will verify the implementation of YES requirements and subsequent compliance. Moore is fully accredited to complete the YES programme and participation assessments.
Requirements for Eligibility to the YES Programme (and how to pply)
Any entity can apply to participate in the YES programme if they are:

  • Exempted Micro EnterprisesEMEs’ (entities with less than R10 million turnover), or

  • Organs of State and Specialised Enterprises. Such entities are not required to comply with any priority sub-minimums on the B-BBEE Scorecard.

  • Qualifying Small EnterprisesQSEs’ (entities with a turnover between R10 million and R50 million) with

    • at least 40% in Ownership and either Skills Development or Enterprise and Supplier Development, or

    • an average score of 40% across Ownership and either Skills Development or Enterprise and Supplier Development.

In other words, QSEs without black Ownership will need to ensure their Skills Development or Enterprise and Supplier Development elements make up for the deficit under Ownership.

  • Generic Enterprises (entities with a turnover larger than R50 million) with:

    • at least the 40% sub-minimum under each of the three priority elements (Ownership, Skills Development, and Enterprise and Supplier Development), or

    • an average of 50% across these three priority elements.

This allows entities without Black Ownership to still participate in the YES programme.

  • Entities within the various Sector Codes that meet the applicable priority elements and associated scorecard sub-minimums.

A measured entity’s YES claim will be disqualified if it does not maintain its B-BBEE level from its last verification before applying for the enhanced YES recognition.
A company may apply to the DTIC Policy Unit for exemption from this requirement where it has a justifiable reason for not maintaining its B-BBBE level and the appropriate evidence. Justifiable reasons include, but are not limited to:

  • When an ownership deal terminates
  • There are amendments to a Sector Code or a revision to the Code of Good Practice, which directly results in a drop in the B-BBEE Status Level
  • There is a significant reduction in the share price or a significant impact on the measured entity’s net value
  • The procurement spend of the measured entity decreases because of an unpredictable business cycle
  • A prominent supplier to the measured entity has a substantial drop in their B-BBEE Status Level, which impacts the measured entity’s procurement claim.

An entity is eligible to apply to participate in the YE.S programme if it complies with the sub-minimum requirements and has maintained or improved its B-BBEE level.
Before implementing the initiative, eligible entities must register with the YES NPC on
With registration, an entity will create a company profile, select its size, and pay the annual registration fee. The current registration fees as per YES 01/03/2022 are as follows.

Size of Entity

Registration Fee (Excluding VAT)

Less than R10 million


Between R10 million and R50 million


Between R50 million and R100 million


Between R100 million and R200 million


Above R200 million


Note that the registration fee must be paid within the measurement period and before any placement of learners to qualify.
Once registered and paid, you will select your applicable business package, depending on the size and extent of your requirements.
Each package includes the minimum salary requirements for the YES employees, YES smartphones and apps, the supervisor app, and the annual monitoring and evaluation fee that your company will pay.
Part 2:
YES Programme Targets

In the next issue, learn about the different types of targets and the requirements for scoring. If you are ready to get started, contact your local Moore firm today.