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Since the introduction of the first BEE Codes in 2007, Imperial Logistics has worked tirelessly to be recognised as a leader in the development of human capital at all levels - with the prime objective being the closer alignment of the group’s employee and leadership profile with the national demography. With transformation an essential part of the group's strategy, our BEE policies have been developed to ensure that measurable progress is made towards genuine black economic empowerment. Our approach is intrinsically collaborative and the business works together with all of our stakeholders - customer, partners, suppliers and the public sector, including government. 
Our most recent certification - issued in November 2016 - represents a significant milestone in our transformation efforts, with year on year improvements once again being realised across all categories of the scorecard. Imperial proudly retained its certification as a Level 3 B-BBEE company which will continue to translate into significant benefits for clients doing business with us.
Enterprise development and socio-economic development were areas in which the group scored full points. Our preferential procurement spend with QSE’s and 51% black owned businesses was almost double the target percentage. Going forward, we will continue to actively seek out opportunities to partner with QSEs, EMEs and other designated group suppliers that are 51% black owned in order to facilitate maximum benefit for our clients in terms of their own procurement scorecards. 
Imperial Logistics has also made strides on the employment equity front, achieving 54% of the target points. We have proudly achieved 99% of the ownership target score and in terms of economic interest/net value, Imperial Logistics has 23% equity ownership fully vested in the hands of black shareholders. Not many logistics service providers - or even many other South African companies - can claim this level and scale of ownership transformation.
Through various management training programmes, Imperial has notably built a pipeline of black managers who are moving from junior management to middle management positions. We have clearly made strides in this area, with more than triple the number of black managers now in our employ, when compared with 2008. There is also a growing trend for women to occupy managerial positions in previously male dominated functional areas of the business - the majority of which come through the ranks of our graduate programmes.

Imperial added further impetus to its drive to address South Africa’s skills deficit and youth unemployment through initiatives that include partnering with the Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Municipality in a youth development programme run by the Imperial Logistics Academy - the company’s dedicated training facility.

Our approach to transformation is thus much more than just meeting targets and we are committed to constant evaluation of our achievements, as well as tackling challenges and leveraging new opportunities. The new codes represent just such an opportunity and whilst the tougher new BEE scorecard raises the transformation bar, particularly for large organisations, Imperial Logistics views this as an incentive to keep doing the things that have earned it the position of an industry leader in some BEE indicators - and to push harder in areas in which it may be falling short. We have already aligned our BEE initiatives to the Amended Codes of Good Practice which came into effect on 1 November 2015. With transformation a strategic focus area for the group, we are already measuring our operating companies in terms of these new codes.
Our BEE roadmap gives a clear indication that Imperial Logistics will achieve a competitive recognition level under the new codes and it is anticipated that we will achieve Level 4 status in 2017 and will actively target Level 3 status by 2020. Notably, Imperial Logistics will strive to achieve “51% Black Owned” status through securing the appropriate voting rights and economic interest for black people in the JSE listed, Imperial Group. 
Our strategy in terms of the revised codes encompasses the following key objectives:

  1. Maintain our leadership position - the tougher new B-BBEE scorecard raises the transformation bar, particularly for large organisations, but we view this as an incentive to keep doing the things that have earned us our position as industry leader.
  2. Maximise our clients’ preferential procurement recognition - with an acute understanding of the new codes, we will continue to partner with our clients in exhausting all potential recognition benefits. 
  3. Support our clients’ QSE/EME spend - we will actively develop our enterprise development partnerships to the benefit of our clients - identifying, developing and position these EMEs and QSEs to become suppliers to our clients.
  4. Enable diversity across the business - working across all businesses and functions we will facilitate and leverage authentic transformation in all its dimensions. 

We regard the new codes as the next phase in our transformation journey and we will continue to pursue and enhance all facets of empowerment - regardless of the BEE measurements - because we believe that the process of economic transformation must continue apace in order to bring the majority of black South Africans into the mainstream economy. Not only by providing employment but by giving them meaningful economic participation and the opportunity to share increasingly in the wealth creation resulting from economic activities.
We will therefore continue to accelerate transformation in an effort to not just raise the bar in meeting targets and achieving recognition in terms of the revised codes, but to entrench transformation within our organisational culture, enhance our commitment as a corporate citizen, and continue to lead the industry as a truly South African business.