As a company headquartered in South Africa, with significant assets and people, transformation is an important component of our reputation and licence to trade. We recognise that transformation is not just a moral imperative, but a pragmatic growth strategy that aims to realise the country’s full economic potential while helping to bring the black majority into the economic mainstream.
In 2010, the shareholders of Sappi Limited approved a BBBEE equity transaction involving the issuing of approximately 4.5% (24.3 million shares) of the group’s issued share capital, which translates into the empowerment of 30% of Sappi’s Southern African business. The share scheme, known internally as ‘Sefate’, meaning ‘to grow’, recognised the contribution made to the company by our black South African employees and managers.
As many of our employees were first-time shareowners, we rolled out a communications programme to educate them about the benefits of share ownership in general and the Sefate scheme in particular.
Between 2017 and 2019, Sefate paid out over ZAR49 million in annual dividends and ZAR54 million on the final vesting in September 2019 to its unitholders.
In South Africa, where employment equity falls under BBBEE legislation, our employee diversity profile is monitored quarterly by the South African lead team and discussed monthly at every business unit’s Employment Equity Forum. Each human resources manager and hiring manager is required to recruit in accordance with the employment equity plan in place at their site.