Sep 02, 2011
BBBEE deal benefits employees and communitiesBack
Africa|AMB Capital|Had Sappi South Africa|Lereko Investments|Lereko Property Consortium|Merchant Bank|Paper|PROJECT|Projects|Sappi|Sappi Foundation Trust|Sappi Limited|Sappi South Africa|Sappi Southern Africa|Africa|Paper Manufacturer|Colin Mowatt
© 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)
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
Recent Research Reports
Road and Rail 2014: A review of South Africa's road and rail infrastructure (PDF report)
Creamer Media’s Road and Rail 2014 report examines South Africa’s road and rail transport system, with particular focus on the size and state of the country’s road and rail network, the funding and maintenance of these respective networks, and the push to move...
Real Economy Year Book 2014 (PDF Report)
This edition drills down into the performance and outlook for a variety of sectors, including automotive, construction, electricity, transport, steel, water, coal, gold, iron-ore and platinum.
Real Economy Insight: Automotive 2014 (PDF Report)
This four-page brief covers key developments in the automotive industry over the past 12 months, including an overview of South Africa’s automotive market, trade figures, production and the policies influencing the sector.
Real Economy Insight: Construction 2014 (PDF Report)
This five-page brief covers key developments in the construction industry over the past 12 months. It provides an overview of the sector and includes details of employment in the sector, infrastructure and municipal spending, as well as insight into companies’...
Real Economy Insight: Electricity 2014 (PDF Report)
This five-page brief covers key developments in the electricity industry over the past 12 months, including details of State-owned power utility Eskom’s generation activities, funding and tariffs, independent power producers and prospects for the sector.
Real Economy Insight: Road and Rail 2014 (PDF Report)
This six-page brief covers key developments in the road and rail industries over the past 12 months, including details of South Africa’s road and rail network and prospects for both sectors.
This Week's Magazine
South African State-owned defence industrial group Denel has announced its fourth consecutive year of profits. The group's results for the financial year 2013/2014 were recently announced at its head office in Centurion, south of Pretoria. Revenues grew by 17%, net...
There is little opportunity for JSE-listed infrastructure company Group Five to grow shareholder value in the domestic market, says CEO Mike Upton. He says value can still be found in the private sector, in the renewable and industrial power sector, as well as in...
The National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa (Naamsa) has announced the event dates of the 2015 Johannesburg International Motor Show (JIMS). The event will take place from October 14 to October 25, 2015, at the Johannesburg Expo Centre, Nasrec.
UK engineering support services provider Babcock is set to deliver the largest order of global truck manufacturer DAF’s truck tractors in Southern Africa to bulk carrier road-based logistics company Ngululu Bulk Carriers (NBC), with 133 trucks to be delivered in...
Digital radio communications in the African local government space can open up the world, but have many challenges to overcome, notes integration and migration of legacy radio communications infrastructure with digital mobile radio company Emcom Wireless head of...
Next ArticleBlack Economic Empowerment – a change for the better