The goal of sustainable development is “to meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs”.
We view sustainable development and transformation as fundamental to our business success and have a comprehensive and entrenched approach that delivers sustainable profit growth for our shareholders and tangible benefits for the communities in which we work.
Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment Policy
We have an established Transformation Committee which functions as a policy-making body to monitor the various elements of the BEE scorecard i.e. ownership, management control, employment equity, preferential procurement, skills training and development, enterprise development and socio-economic development.
This forum is chaired by the Managing Director and meets on a monthly basis to report and monitor progress. Over the past few years we have made great progress with our transformation objectives which are monitored using the BEE scorecard in terms of the Department of Trade and Industry’s ‘Code of Good Practice’.
We have been rated by an external rating agency and have attained a certified Level 5 rating with value added vendor status which gives all our clients 100% BBBEE procurement recognition.
Employment Equity & Skills Development
For us, employment equity is seen as a strategic advantage, a key enabler to improve our transformation in the group. Each business unit has an employment equity plan and strategy with specific aims, especially with regard to increasing the representation of Black employees in Senior and Middle Management occupational levels. This is an ongoing process that will take a couple of years to achieve.
As part of a renewed and concerted effort, we have and will continue to improve our systems to identify, develop and mentor previously disadvantaged staff to ensure that they are able to take up positions in various levels of management in the group.
Currently Black staff make up 63% of our total staff complement and we have 41% Black representation in the Managements bands C – E. The staff complement for disabled is 3%.
Good progress has been made in 2010 with the company spending R48-million on training of which, R37-million was spent on training Black employees. Currently there are over 300 Category B apprenticeships and RPL programmes (recognition for prior learning) of which 243 where apprenticeships for Black employees. The substantial increase in 2010 can be attributed to more accurate capturing of spend on training across the group and the RPL programme has proved to be highly effective as many of our employees have the necessary experience and skills however, no formal qualification. Employees are now being assessed and will receive recognition for their practical experience at the end of the programme.
We have extensive training programmes designed to train and develop our staff at all organisational levels including:
Senior Management training is carried out in partnership with both The Wits Graduate School of Business and University of Stellenbosch Business School where a number of our senior executives have completed courses from the senior management development programme to the prestigious MBA degree.
Our Management Development Programme is directed at middle management and emerging junior management and we have partnered in this programme with Production Management Institute for their unique modular part time courses in both production and operations management.
Our Graduate Programme has been highly successful over the past ten years and has produced a number of stars who have progressed to senior management.
Apprenticeships – We continue to identify existing employees or unemployed learners who are able to participate in the various apprenticeship programmes applicable to the industry. Our efforts remain focused on ensuring that not only do we provide opportunities for employment in our group, but also to assist with the supply of qualified apprentices to the rest of the industry.
A challenge remains to attract Black females into apprenticeships as well as the lack of learnerships available from MAPPP Seta. For example; Caxton Printers recruit ten apprentices at the beginning of each year. Each apprentice receives pre-training and is given a basic introduction to the printing process. Five fortunate apprentices are then selected to attend College. Over the past six years well over 100 people have qualified as printers, fitters and electricians.
Internal training programmes are developed to increase the skills shortage in the industry including; Caxton Newspapers Cadet School, sales and advertising training, creative writing, mentorships and graphic design courses.
An effort has been made by all company divisions with small service providers to obtain their EME affidavits (more than 450) to facilitate transformation. In addition, consideration is given to increasing procurement from suppliers with a turnover of less than R35-million and greater than 50% black ownership.
Black economic empowerment partners
Over the last year efforts have been made to form Joint Ventures with Black partners. This has led to successful ventures being formed in the Eastern Cape and North West Province to service stationery markets. We will continually search for areas in which mutually beneficial partnerships can be established.
Facilitating entry for emerging black business into South Africa’s mainstream has been identified as an important focus area for our BBBEE strategy going forward. All divisions contribute towards reaching at least 3% of Net Profit After Tax in support of Enterprise Development initiatives.
We continue to outsource our distribution services to black contractors enabling them to employ over 300 previously unemployed black people.
An annual contribution is made to the Media Development and Diversity Agency (MDDA) in order to assist in building an environment where a diverse, vibrant and creative media flourishes and reflects the needs of all South Africans in the Print Media. The beneficiaries of subsidies and facilitating capacity building are historically disadvantaged communities, historically diminished language and cultural groups and inadequately served communities.
We will continue to expand our enterprise development endeavours through our procurement programme.
Socio-Economic Development And Corporate Social Investment
We strive to improve and socially uplift the communities in which we operate, primarily through the investment of financial resources. Community initiatives visibly demonstrate our commitment to education, job creation, sport and community welfare. This means that we are not only a financially sound corporate citizen but that we are also a socially conscientious one.
We have a vested interest in the economic health and prosperity of the communities in which we operate, investing financial resources in education, health, development programmes, community training and skills development and arts, culture and sport.
We continue to seek areas where we can positively impact the plight of disadvantaged communities as demonstrated through the provision of free and discounted advertising and editorial space to Black organisations and educational institutions in all our publications, both newspapers and magazines.
This year we spent R13.2-million to sustain projects initiated in 2008 and 2009 that provide support to more than 75% of Black beneficiaries. A few of these projects include:
Sponsorship of Dowling Primary School
Support of Itshepeng, an NPO organisation that runs a feeding scheme for 500 people, 5 days a week and a maths and science programme helping to educate 200 children each year.
Sponsorship of Kids Haven; a shelter and children’s home.
Supplying hard and soft covered exercise books to West Rand School.
Sponsoring various arts, culture and sport sponsorships.
During the next fiscal year, the Socio-Economic Development initiatives and Enterprise Development initiatives will continue. The BEE Steering Committee, in conjunction with the divisions, will continue to identify new initiatives in this regard.