Sep 02, 2011
BBBEE deal benefits employees and communitiesBack
© Reuse this
Sappi has enhanced its commitment to BBBEE transformation through this deal by recognising the role that employees play in the success of the company; attracting and retaining staff, especially skilled black employees; building on Sappi’s commitment to communities; as well as moving from Level 6 black economic-empowerment (BEE) contributor status to Level 3 contributor status.
The BBBEE deal benefits all Sappi’s South African employ- ees, apart from white managers who already participate in an existing Sappi share incentive scheme. The employee share ownership plan owns some 62.5% of the deal, constituting the majority percentage of the shares. The management share ownership plan was awarded 15% of the deal. “This will help retain skilled black managers at Sappi,” says Sappi Southern Africa financial director Colin Mowatt.
The Lereko Property Con-sortium, headed by Lereko Investments and including other beneficiaries such as the Malibongwe Women Develop-ment Trust and financial services company AMB Capital, received 12.5% of the deal. The Sappi Foundation Trust received 10%. The beneficiaries of this trust include the local communities and the grower organisations situated around Sappi’s mills and plantations.
Through this new transaction, Sappi South Africa has maintained its initiative to expand from a Level 6 BEE contributor to a Level 3 contributor. “Had Sappi South Africa been scored in terms of the generic Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) scorecard, we would only have achieved Level 4 status,” explains Mowatt. This is due to the bonus points that the Forestry Charter scorecard awards for increased socio-economic development spend, which are not provided for in the generic DTI scorecard.
Meanwhile, he mentions that Sappi is involved in various community projects, such as the ongoing Project Grow programme, which assists community members in rural areas with aspects of the forestry business, such as financial aid and technical assistance. “The aim of this community project is to provide the necessary assistance to emerging timber farmers, which enables Sappi to create a mutually beneficial relationship with the community residents,” he explains.
Sappi provides various financial assistance programmes, which enables farmers to plant and main- tain new trees. Besides financial assistance, farmers also receive site-suitable free seedlings as well as free technical assistance. “Sappi and the communities are, thus, mutual beneficiaries. Sappi has already bought trees from emerging farmers and new trees have been planted. This money then benefits the surrounding communities through initiatives such as building new schools,” says Mowatt.
Sappi also plays an important role in health-related projects. “Sappi’s HIV/Aids awareness programme offers support to child-headed homes, as well as developing centres where children can receive proper care while their parents are at work,” he explains.
But, besides the various community initiatives that have been established, the BEE transaction creates the additional benefit of employees becoming shareholders. Mowatt says that being given the opportunity to own shares in Sappi is like a long-term savings plan, as the shares in the company are expected to grow in value over time. Thus, it is clear that the intention of the BEE transaction is to lock employees in to prevent shareholders selling their shares too soon, which is not the true objective of BEE. The deal has been structured in such a way that previously participating employees will only be able to sell their shares in 2019. “The benefits of the deal are long term, where employees are given shares, which will provide them with the opportunity to sell them when they have grown in value and are worth more,” explains Mowatt.
Sappi South Africa has played a prominent role in the development of BEE in the past. In 2006, the pulp and paper manufacturer signed a BBBEE land deal, where it sold a 25% undivided share in its plantation land to the Lereko Consortium.
In 2008, the Sappi Limited board and the transformation committee reviewed the 2006 transaction, which led to the decision to restructure the deal in accordance with the BBBEE requirements of the gazetted Forestry Charter of May 2009. “Looking at the requirements of both the DTI’s generic scorecard and the Forestry Charter, it became clear that Sappi needed to do an equity-based empower- ment transaction rather than a property-based transaction,” says Mowatt. With this transaction, Sappi identified that its employees needed to have shares. “Instead of owning 25% of the land, employees will own Sappi shares,” concludes Mowatt.
Edited by: Shannon de Ryhove© Reuse this Comment Guidelines (150 word limit)
Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor Polity & Multimedia
Other Black Economic Empowerment News
US car giant General Motors (GM) has agreed to pay a symbolic sum of up to $1.5-millio to victims of South Africa's apartheid-era government, who are suing it and another four companies for helping prop up the white-minority state. South Africa's Khulumani Support...
Black economic-empowerment (BEE) in South Africa provides a significant contribution to the development of the country, says BEE consultancy EconoBEE CEO Keith Levenstein. However, he notes that irregularities such as tender fraud and corruption create severe...
Professional services company KPMG has warned South African businesses that the current employment
Updated 2 hours 39 minutes ago Irish Foreign Affairs and Trade Minister Charles Flanagan told media on Thursday that Ireland was well positioned to play a greater role in Africa, particularly in the aviation, pharmaceuticals and agricultural industries. Flanagan was this week leading a high-level...
Updated 2 hours 41 minutes ago The Lesotho Highlands Development Authority (LHDA) has appointed three consultants for work packages as part of Phase 2 of the Lesotho Highlands Water Project (LHWP). The contracts, worth a collective M40-million, were awarded to the SMEC-FMA joint venture (JV);...
Updated 2 hours 48 minutes ago JSE-listed Huge Telecom continued to grow its distribution capabilities during the year ended February 28, with the number of business partners increasing by 136, or 47%. Huge Telecom’s connectivity services, which were distributed mainly to small and medium...
Recent Research Reports
Steel 2015: A review of South Africa's steel sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Steel 2015 report provides an overview of the key developments in the global steel industry and particularly of South Africa’s steel sector over the past year, including details of production and consumption, as well as the country's primary carbon...
Projects in Progress 2015 - First Edition (PDF Report)
In fact, this edition of Creamer Media’s Projects in Progress 2015 supplement tracks developments taking place under the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme, which has had four bidding rounds. It appears to remain a shining light on the...
Electricity 2015: A review of South Africa's electricity sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Electricity 2015 report provides an overview of State-owned power utility Eskom and independent power producers, as well as electricity planning, transmission, distribution and the theft thereof, besides other issues.
Construction 2015: A review of South Africa’s construction sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Construction 2015 Report examines South Africa’s construction industry over the past 12 months. The report provides insight into the business environment; the key participants in the sector; local construction demand; geographic diversification;...
Liquid Fuels 2014 - A review of South Africa's Liquid Fuels sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Liquid Fuels 2014 Report examines these issues, focusing on the business environment, oil and gas exploration, the country’s feedstock supplies, the development of South Africa’s biofuels industry, fuel pricing, competition in the sector, the...
Water 2014: A review of South Africa's water sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Water 2014 report considers the aforementioned issues, not only in the South African context, but also in the African and global context, and examines the issues of water and sanitation, water quality and the demand for water, among others.
This Week's Magazine
While economic forecasts for the African continent are most favourable, African airlines may not be able to benefit from the expected growth in the region’s gross domestic product (GDP), International Air Transport Association VP: Africa Raphael Kuuchi has warned....
The Automotive Production and Development Programme (APDP) will need to change substantially post 2020, says Metair Investments South African operations COO Ken Lello. “We must not make tweaks. We have to change. What we are doing is not sustainable.”
Banking group Absa’s forecast is for the rand to end the year at around R13 against the dollar, weakening further to R13.50 by 2016, says Absa sectoral analyst Jacques du Toit. He warns that possible interest rate hikes in the US may see capital being pulled from...
The Dispute Resolution Centre at the Bargaining Council for the Civil Engineering Industry (BCCEI) is now open to handle party-to-party disputes. The BCCEI represents the interests of all level four to nine Construction Industry Development Board companies.
Communications technology firm Ericsson sub-Saharan Africa head Fredrik Jejdling says the company’s commitment to sustainability and corporate responsibility has been integrated into all facets of its operations, which has provided it with sustainable revenue...
Next ArticleBlack Economic Empowerment – a change for the better