African Equity Empowerment Investments (AEEI) is committed to the principles of integrated reporting in terms of our thinking and approach to long-term value creation and the role we play as a corporate citizen.

The leadership of the Group develops and directs the strategy and manages the business in an integrated way, taking into account the interests of our stakeholders and taking cognisance of the capital resources required.

In preparing our integrated report we were guided by the following:

  • The International Integrated Reporting Council’s Integrated Reporting <IR> Framework;
  • The principles of the King Code of Governance (King III);
  • The JSE Listings Requirements;
  • The International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS);
  • The Companies Act, 2008 (No. 71 of 2008), as amended (“Companies Act”); and
  • BBBEE regulations.

We have provided commentary to explain the reasons why we elected to not comply fully with certain principles of King III.

Scope, boundary and reporting cycle

This is the Group’s sixth integrated report and is primarily targeted at our shareholders which include our stakeholders, the investment community and providers of capital while taking into account the interests, concerns and information requirements of a wider group of stakeholders. The report includes financial and non-financial information related to the Group’s main businesses, key functions and strategic investments. The Group’s income is generated mainly within South Africa with approximately 36% generated from Africa and abroad. It aims to enable our readers to obtain a balanced view and to make an informed assessment of the Group’s ability to create stakeholder value in the short, medium and long term.

It covers the financial year ended 31 August 2016, with no restatements of data.

This report provides material information which relates to the Group’s strategy, governance, performance and sustainability in respect of all the business divisions and sectors, which comprises food and fishing, technology, health and biotherapeutics, events and tourism as well as strategic investments. All non‑financial indicators include subsidiaries but exclude strategic investments unless specifically indicated. Through a formal process by each committee of the Board including executives in the Group, material issues were identified in terms of relevance and was approved by the Board of AEEI. Material issues and developments are comprehensively dealt with throughout the report.

Refer to material issues for specific information.

Combined assurance

AEEI has a combined assurance model to obtain the assurance from management as well as internal and external assurance providers. Management provides the Board with assurance on their accountabilities in terms of the implementation and monitoring of the Group’s risk register and plan, as well as the controls related to the Group’s day‑to‑day activities.

The audit and risk committee oversees the internal audit function and ensures the effectiveness of systems of internal control and risk management. It also monitors the relationship between the external assurance providers and the Company.

An independent audit of the Group’s financial statements was performed by Grant Thornton Cape Inc. External verification has been provided for the Broad-based Black Economic Empowerment (BBBEE) accreditation level. The verification is carried out by an organisation accredited by the Independent Regulatory Board of Auditors (IRBA). The rest of this integrated report has not been subjected to an independent audit or review. The information reported on is derived from the Group’s own internal records and information available in the public domain.

Disclaimer: Forward-looking statements

In this report we make certain statements that relate to analyses and other information based on forecasts of future results based on historical data, which are based on estimations of new business and investment assumptions. These statements may also relate to our future prospects, developments and business strategy. As defined, these are forward-looking statements. These statements may be identified by words such as “expect”, “look forward to”, “anticipate”, “intend”, “plan”, “believe”, “seek”, “estimate”, “will”, “project” or words of similar meaning which are intended to identify such forward-looking statements but are not the exclusive means of identifying such statements. These are subject to a number of risks, uncertainties and factors, including, but not limited to those described in disclosures and in the risk management report.

Should one or more of these risks or uncertainties materialise, or should underlying expectations not occur or assumptions prove incorrect, actual results, performance or achievements of AEEI may (negatively or positively) vary materially from those described explicitly or implicitly in the relevant forward-looking statement. AEEI neither intends nor assumes any obligation to update or revise these forward‑looking statements in light of developments that differ from those anticipated.

Directors’ responsibility and approval of the integrated report

The audit and risk committee is responsible for reviewing and recommending the integrated report and annual financial statements to the Board for approval. The Board acknowledges its responsibility to ensure that the integrity of the integrated report is uncompromised. The Board has applied its mind to the integrated report and believes that it addresses all material issues and fairly represents the integrated performance of the Group.

The integrated report including the annual financial statements for the Group for the year ended 31 August 2016 were approved by the board of directors and signed on their behalf by Professor VC Mehana and Mr K Abdulla on 26 October 2016.

The special resolutions passed during the year for the Company relate to the approval of/for:

  • remuneration for executive and non-executive directors;
  • intercompany financial assistance;
  • financial assistance for the acquisition of shares in a related or inter-related Company; and
  • the Company or its subsidiaries to repurchase Company shares.

We welcome your feedback and comments on the integrated report. Please address any queries to the corporate affairs and sustainability director, Cherie Hendricks at cherie@aeei.co.za.