“Culture does not change because we desire to change it. Culture changes when the organisation is transformed; the culture reflects the realities of people working together every day.”
The transformation committee comprises one independent non-executive director, one non-executive director and one executive director who have been appointed by the Board. The chairperson of the committee is Ms Z Barends, with Ms AB Amod and Ms CF Hendricks as members. The company secretary is the secretary of this committee.
The transformation committee assists the Board in the effective discharge of its responsibilities for oversight of transformation management, ensuring that management has implemented and maintained an effective transformation management process in the Group.
As a responsible employer, AEEI adheres to all labour legislation and laws. The Group’s employment equity policy affirms the commitment to equal opportunities relating to affirmative action and the achievement of employment equity.
The transformation committee assists the Board to lead transformation within the Group and to ensure that there are appropriate policies and procedures in place to address transformation by levelling the playing fields both socially and economically for a broader participation of all South Africans. Employment equity plans were submitted to the Department of Labour during the year under review.
During the year under review, the committee adopted a new Transformation Charter. The committee’s duties include the:
- Approval of strategies, processes and control framework for the management of transformation;
- Approval the appointment of the verification agency;
- Approval of the scorecard targets for timeous submission to the agency;
- Approval the employment equity plan to be submitted to the Department of Labour;
- Review of the equity ownership of the Group;
- Review of the skills development and employment equity plans of the Group and make recommendations;
- Development of long-terms goals for the Group;
- Review of the transformation plans for the Group and make strategic recommendations;
- Review of the placement of interns in the Group;
- Approval or recommendation of any changes to the charter and policy as appropriate;
- Assessment of reports and reporting key issues to the board of directors;
- Assisting the Board in fulfilling their responsibilities and for ensuring that there is an effective transformation process in place throughout the Group;
- Assessment of reports from management concerning the Group’s transformation and compliance processes and controls in order to oversee their effectiveness;
- Assessment of reports from divisional management concerning transformation and compliance in order to oversee these risks and assess their impact on the Group;
- Assessment of reports from management concerning the implications of new and emerging risks, legislative or regulatory initiatives and changes in order to ensure that transformation is held at an acceptable level;
- Receipt of reports from management concerning the resolution of significant risks, in order to monitor them and approve them in accordance with the Board’s risk appetite;
- Overseeing of compliance by the Group with applicable external and regulatory obligations, and significant internal policies relating to the operation of its business units; and
- Facilitating of communication of risk issues to all management in the Group.
OUR TRANSFORMATION PHILOSOPHY
AEEI’s aim is to be an employer of choice in the market place. AEEI continues to champion transformation within the Group and has been recognised for its contribution to this process. For AEEI, transformation goes beyond compliance with BBBEE and includes the transformation of the culture, ethics and values of the Group.
The BBBEE Codes of Good Practice, promulgated in 2007, emphasised the need to extend empowerment to a broader base of South Africans. They provided guidelines and a balanced scorecard to measure the transformation of a business entity from an empowerment perspective.
As a Group, we believe in the development and empowerment of our staff and to enhance performance by “growing our timber”. We recognise that today’s best is the benchmark we must surpass tomorrow. The AEEI Group is committed to its shared values which include: people, accountability, integrity, commitment, stakeholders, respect and trust as well as investment. Refer to our common vision and common objectives for more details.
REPORT OF THE TRANSFORMATION COMMITTEE
The transformation committee assisted the Board to ensure that the Group is and remains committed to transformation, and in light of this the following took place during the year under review:
- Adopted a new Transformation Policy and Charter and rolled it out in the Group;
- Maintained our BBBEE Level 1 status since 2010;
- Reviewed the BBBEE status of the Group’s subsidiaries;
- Implemented and tracked the long-term goals in terms of the Group’s Vision 2020 Vision;
- Reviewed and made recommendations to the skills development plans as well as the placement of interns in the Group;
- Reviewed and made recommendations on the transformation plans;
- Reviewed the equity ownership of the Group;
- Reviewed and made recommendation on the employment equity plans;
- Contributed through our operations to our corporate social investment programmes;
- Tracked the investment in renewable energy; and
- Built on our solid empowerment credentials – empowerment partner of choice.
The transformation committee reviewed the impact the revised Codes would have on the Company and the Group. The committee has been proactive within the Group to ensure understanding and compliance of the revised Codes as the revised Codes signal major changes in the BBBEE environment making it much easier for some companies to comply and more difficult for others.
BEE Certificates for JSE Listed Companies will now have to be lodged with the Commissioner.
AEEI has evolved from a qualifying small enterprise (“QSE”) to a generic enterprise (“GE”) during the year. Since the changes in the rankings of listed companies on the JSE four years ago, qualifying small enterprises were disqualified from being rated. This is the first year that AEEI once again qualified to be in the main rankings of the JSE Top 100 listed companies as a generic enterprise. Refer to transformation for further details.
The execution of the new charter will be a high-priority responsibility of the various business units executives who will ensure its execution through senior and other levels of management. They will develop detailed short-term, medium-term and long-term action plans to ensure the implementation of their transformation goals and objectives. These action plans should address all the stated goals and objectives and take into account the suggested action plans put forward by various forums, while aligning it with their applicable objectives.
The transformation committee will on a regular basis monitor, review and makes changes to plans aimed at the implementation of the charter. The CEO will communicate the status of performance against goals.
The transformation committee has set the following transformation goals with clear objectives to be true to its values:
- Employer of choice – to create and nurture a working environment and a corporate culture that together attract and retain the best talent and skills; to redress residual inequalities with regard to race, gender and disability in accordance with our Employment Equity Plan, and to accelerate the development and retention of a diverse pool of skilled employees in order to achieve equitable representation in all occupational categories and levels of employment.
- Diversity – to value all people who make up the diverse population of South Africa, and to accelerate and cultivate an environment where diversity is valued and prospers.
- Leadership and Management – to ensure that employees who manage and lead broadly reflect the diverse profile of the South African and African populations and that they are appropriately empowered and skilled to manage the Company towards its strategic objectives.
- Economic sustainability – to create long-term economic value.
- Environmental sustainability – brands and practices – to further improved brand value for the Company.
- Environmental sustainability – resource stewardship – to drive resource management throughout our supply chain.
- Social sustainability – stakeholders – to contribute to a society through our own practices and relationships with communities.
- Internal communication – to overcome barriers to communication related to race, gender, culture and status and to encourage open, honest and effective communication between all people both individually and within the appropriate communication forums.
- Transformation image and profile – to ensure that the Company’s image and profile is aligned with its transformation strategy and the changing South African and African environments.
- Business partners and collaboration – to ensure communication and collaboration with the Company and the Group’s business partners and associates with regard to sector transformation.
The chairman of the transformation committee reports to the Board on the activities of the committee at Board meetings. For the period under review, the committee is satisfied that is has fulfilled all its statutory duties assigned by the Board.