African Equity Empowerment Investments Limited 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. Management takes into account the interests of our stakeholders and takes cognisance of capital resources required for the strategy.

This integrated report follows on our Vision 2020 Vision as reported on in the 2016 integrated report. It aims to provide a balanced, accurate and accessible assessment of our strategy, performance and opportunities and how they relate to material financial, economic, social and environmental and governance matters.

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

  • The International Integrated Reporting Council’s (IIRC) Integrated Reporting <IR> Framework
  • King IV Report on Corporate GovernanceTM for South Africa 2016 (King IVTM)
  • The Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) Listings Requirements
  • The International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS)
  • The Companies Act, 2008 (No. 71 of 2008), as amended (the Companies Act)
  • The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) G4 Guidelines
  • Broad-based Black Economic Empowerment (B-BBEE) Regulations

to ensure that the contents are aligned with material matters impacting our ability to create value.

SCOPE, BOUNDARY AND REPORTING CYCLE

Our integrated report covers the performance of the AEEI Group for the financial year ended 31 August 2017, with material restatements of line items in the statement of other comprehensive income and is primarily targeted at our providers of capital. Refer to note 53 of the audited financial statements. It takes into account the interests, concerns and information requirements of a wider group of stakeholders. This report extends beyond financial reporting and includes non-financial performance, opportunities, risks and outcomes attributable to or associated with our key stakeholders.

The Group’s income is generated mainly in South Africa. 54% is generated from Asia, America, Africa, Europe, Dubai, the United Kingdom (UK), the United States of America (USA), Ghana, Uganda, Zambia, Cameroon, Tanzania, Nigeria, Namibia, Kenya, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Spain, Saudi Arabia, Ethiopia, Lesotho, Swaziland, Mauritius, Madagascar and Malawi. This report 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.

MATERIALITY AND MATERIAL MATTERS

AEEI applied the principle of materiality in assessing which information is to be included in this report. This report focuses particularly on those matters and provides material information which relates to the Group’s strategy, governance, performance and sustainability in respect of all business units and sectors, which comprise strategic investments, food and brands, technology, health and beauty, biotherapeutics and events and tourism. All non-financial indicators include subsidiaries, but exclude strategic investments unless specifically indicated. Through a formal process by Board committees and executive management of the Group, material matters were identified and in terms of relevance, were approved by the Board of AEEI. Material matters and developments are comprehensively dealt with throughout the report. Our material matters, as described in Materiality aspects and our response to stakeholders’ interest, influence our strategy and inform the content of this report.

COMBINED ASSURANCE AND INTERNAL CONTROL

AEEI has a combined assurance model, which includes internal and external assessment of key strategic risks, internal controls and other material areas to support the integrity of the management, monitoring and reporting data. Management provides the Board with assurance on its accountabilities in terms of the implementation and monitoring of the Group’s risks register and plan, as well as the controls related to the Group’s day-to-day activities, while fostering a strong ethical climate to ensure compliance.

The Board, with the support of the audit and risk committee, is ultimately responsible for the system of internal control, which is designed to identify, evaluate, manage and provide reasonable assurance against material misstatement and loss. The audit and risk committee applied the combined assurance model to seek and optimise the assurance provided by management, the internal auditor and external assurance providers to ensure a strong ethical climate and to ensure compliance. They also monitored the relationship between the external assurance providers and the Company.

As AEEI is listed on the JSE, it complies with the JSE Listings Requirements, the Companies Act and King IVTM.

Certain information included in this report has been externally assured and reviewed including:

  • The integrated report was reviewed by our external auditors, Grant Thornton Cape Inc.
  • The consolidated and separate annual financial statements for the year ended 31 August 2017 have been audited by Grant Thornton Cape Inc.
  • External verification has been provided for the B-BBEE accreditation level. The verification is carried out by an organisation accredited by the Independent Regulatory Board of Auditors (IRBA).
  • External verification in terms of the JSE Listings Requirements and the Companies Act were performed on the integrated report and the consolidated and separate annual financial statements for the year ended 31 August 2017.
  • The sustainability information included in this integrated report has been externally reviewed, but not assured, by Integrated Reporting and Assurance Services (IRAS) and the rest of this integrated report was not subject to an independent audit or review (refer to the statement from IRAS).
  • The sustainability review has not been independently assured, however, certain information contained in this review has been scrutinised by the Group’s own internal control functions.

The information reported on is derived from the Group’s own internal records and information available in the public domain.

The Board reviewed the effectiveness of controls for the year ended 31 August 2017, principally through a process of management self-assessment, including confirmation from executive management. It also considered reports from the internal audit, the external auditor and other assurance providers. (King IVTM – Principle 5)

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.

SIGNIFICANT CHANGES DURING THE REPORTING PERIOD

Effective 1 September 2016, the Group acquired 51% of the equity in Kalula Communications (Pty) Ltd, trading as Headset Solutions and effective 1 October 2016, concluded the acquisition of 57% equity in Puleng Technologies (Pty) Ltd. Effective 1 May 2017, the Group acquired 90% of the equity in Orleans Cosmetics (Pty) Ltd. The Group purchased additional shares in Sygnia Ltd, increasing our stake to 1.735%.

On 2 March 2017, the Group successfully listed its fishing and brands division on the JSE – now trading as Premier Fishing and Brands Ltd.

DIRECTORS’ RESPONSIBILITY AND APPROVAL OF THE INTEGRATED REPORT

The AEEI Board is ultimately responsible for ensuring the integrity of the integrated report and acknowledges its responsibility to ensure that the integrity of the integrated report is not compromised. The audit and risk committee also reviewed and recommended the integrated report and annual financial statements to the Board for approval. The Board has applied its mind to the integrated report and believes that it addresses all material matters and fairly represents the integrated performance of the Group.

The integrated report and the annual financial statements for the Group for the year ended 31 August 2017 were approved by the Board of directors and signed on their behalf by Reverend Dr VC Mehana and Mr K Abdulla on 7 November 2017. (King IVTM – Principle 15)

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

  • the remuneration for executive and non-executive directors;
  • inter-company financial assistance;
  • financial assistance for the acquisition of shares in a related or inter-related company;
  • the Company or its subsidiaries to repurchase Company shares; and
  • the amendment to the Memorandum of Incorporation of the Company in relation to fractions.

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.