Aspen recognises the importance of transformation, not only
within the Group but also within the broader South African
business environment. BBBEE is a framework that contributes
towards rectifying the exclusions and imbalances of the past and
enables South Africa’s sustainable growth into the future.
ASPEN’S BBBEE GOALS
Aspen's objective is to achieve and maintain a "Level 4"
contributor status in terms of the Department of Trade &
Industry’s Codes of Good Practice (“DTI Codes”).
In an audit conducted by independent BBBEE accreditor, Empowerdex, in September 2009, Aspen attained a Level
4 contributor rating in terms of the DTI Codes with an overall
score of 69,2% or an "A" rating. An overview of the Group’s
progress towards compliance is outlined below:
||Full ownership points were achieved due to BBBEE equity holding
||Score has improved due to both promotion and recruitment of black managers
||Score was improved due to increased employment of black candidates for appropriate positions
||R11,4 million spent on skills training and specific projects implemented to upgrade employees’ skills levels
||Significant progress made in procurement from BBBEE-compliant companies
||Qualifying contribution terminated prematurely. Specific opportunities are being evaluated within the pharmaceutical industry as well as broader services
||Aspen increased spend on CSI projects which focus on upgrading of clinics and improving access to healthcare in rural areas
The Transformation Committee was established in 2006 to assist
the Board in driving Aspen’s transformation, BBBEE statutory
compliance and adherence to transformation best practice. It
is chaired by Group Chief Executive, Stephen Saad, and further
comprises the Deputy Group Chief Executive, Gus Attridge, the
Chairman of the Board, Judy Dlamini, and two independent non-executive
In 2009 Aspen was ranked 28th out of 110 companies, in the Financial Mail/Empowerdex Survey of Top Empowerment Companies.
This recognised the credibility of the Group’s BBBEE platform. Of
the ranked companies, 63 were verified.
A formal Charter governs the Committee, setting out its
responsibility for developing transformation strategy, reviewing
the transformation policies, monitoring the BBBEE scorecard
and providing guidance on management’s approach to
pursuing BBBEE initiatives. In fulfilling its responsibilities, the
Committee has upheld the principles of good corporate
governance, sustainability of the Group and employment equity.
The Committee met four times during the year. Details of
attendance are set out in the Corporate Governance Review.
At year-end, Aspen’s direct BBBEE shareholders owned
22,8 million shares with CEPPWAWU holding 9,2 million shares
and Imithi Investments (Pty) Ltd holding 13,6 million shares. Imithi
Investments (Pty) Ltd also held 17,6 million preference shares,
which carry a right of conversion into Aspen ordinary shares on
a one-for-one basis in June 2012. In the interim, the preference
shares enjoy full voting rights on a pari passu basis with ordinary
shares in Aspen.
Imithi Investments (Pty) Ltd exercised a call option it had over a
further 6,1 million ordinary shares which were held by the Industrial
Development Corporation of South Africa. These shares were
then sold and the proceeds reinvested in the Imithi Investments
(Pty) Ltd funding structure. CEPPWAWU also disposed of
11,8 million shares. The net proceeds from disposal (after settling
all amounts owing in respect of the purchase of these shares) of
R456,1 million are held in the CEPPWAWU Development Trust,
the benefits of which will accrue to union members, almost all
of whom are previously disadvantaged employees. Through this
process, the Group's BBBEE initiatives have reached a further
stage of maturity as the proceeds realised from the shareholding
are used to pursue broad-based upliftment.
Total voting rights held by BBBEE shareholders in Aspen’s South
African operations at year-end, as measured under the principles
of the DTI Codes, amount to 26,4%.
In accordance with the DTI guidelines, the BBBEE ownership
points awarded to a company at any point in time continue to accrue to the company even after the disposal of some or
all of the qualifying equity holding by BBBEE shareholders. The
duration of this entitlement is matched to the period for which
the qualifying shares were held by the BBBEE owner.