A history of transformation
In 1999, Paarl Web was the first large printer in South Africa to conclude a Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) deal with the MICEF (the Mineworkers Investment Companies Empowerment Fund). This was followed in 2003 by Paarl Print’s transaction with Vakazi Holdings, a broad-based women’s investment group, and Edu-Access. This shareholding was acquired by Kurisani Investments, who now hold 16% in Paarl Media Paarl.
Broad-based BEE partners
Kurisani Investments for loveLife Youth Development Trust is the investment arm of loveLife. loveLife is South Africa’s national HIV/Aids prevention campaign for young people, which combines high powered media with countrywide services and outreach programmes in order to protect and develop young people. This is a truly broad-based initiative with over 7.5 million beneficiaries (51% black woman owned).
The Paarl Media Group’s BEE Plan is extended due to the way in which the Group’s companies are set up. When Naspers, Paarl Media Holdings’ majority shareholder, concluded its public Black Economic Empowerment share offer at the end of 2006 – the biggest yet in SA media industry – BEE credentials were filtered through to the Paarl Media Group companies due to Naspers’ release of up to 15% of Media24’s ownership worth about USD100 million, creating Welkom Yizani Investments company. More than 100 000 black individuals and 1 000 black groups participated thus far in this broad-based empowerment offer, gaining indirect shareholding in Media24 and thus in the Paarl Media Group. It is 43.3% black women owned.
The Paarl Media Group has given entrepreneurial opportunities to black entrepreneurs by outsourcing non-core functions such as hand-finishing, inserting, decollating, bagging and hand-folding. These deals have empowered previously disadvantaged employees, making it possible for them to manage their own businesses at minimum risk and financial output. Over 1 500 jobs have been created through the support of these enterprises.