Cement maker a year early reaching BEE target

Cement maker a year early reaching BEE target
Published: 15 December 2009

South Africa’s largest cement maker, Pretoria Portland Cement (PPC), has improved its empowerment status from a level 4 to a level 3 broad-based black economic empowerment contributor rating, beating its target by a year.

The cement producer said yesterday that the rating, together with the highest preferential procurement recognition level in the cement industry of 138 per cent, reflected its commitment to transformation in the country.

PPC said it had expected to reach the level three target by 2011, but the solid transformation foundations laid many years ago and a committed team resulted in the goal being achieved significantly earlier than expected.

“PPC met its objectives in almost all of the Department of Trade and Industry’s code of good practice scorecard pillars, with notable increases in scores relating to employment equity, enterprise development and socioeconomic development,” the group said.

Its approach to transformation continued to create “meaningful” empowerment, it said, both internally and in the communities in which it operated.

In August, PPC sold a 15 per cent stake worth R2.7bn that would directly benefit 3.5m black investors and had a minimal diluting effect on existing shareholders. The deal took two years to complete and was developed in accordance with the mining charter. It resulted in an initial dilution of 5.9 per cent for present PPC shareholders.

PPC issued 8.5 per cent of its share capital to black partners, and planned to raise R1.5bn of long- term debt to replace more expensive short-term borrowings.

General staff and black nonexecutive directors received a nonrefundable contribution from PPC to buy shares and would receive dividends immediately.