Draft sector codes for the road freight transport and logistics industry were issued for comment on the 26th of February, with a 60 day window provided for public commentary. Proposed changes include amendments to allocated weightings in three of the scorecard sub-elements – equity ownership, management control and skills development – and reflect the proposals tabled in ongoing industry discussions with the Department of Transport.
For Imperial Logistics – as for all transport industry players – this effectively means that the 2016 scorecard could be issued on these amended codes should they be approved and we would align our current measurement criteria accordingly. “Imperial is exceptionally well placed to rise to the challenges of the new codes when the Minister gazettes the Transport Sector’s new B-BBEE Charter,” states transformation director Sibongile Zikalala. “We are very proud of our transformation track record and aim to maintain a leading position as the tougher new scorecard raises the BEE bar – particularly for large organisations.”
“Our approach to transformation is much more than just meeting targets and we are committed to the constant re-evaluation of our achievements,” she expands. “The new codes represent just such an opportunity and Imperial 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.”
Zikalala explains that the group’s BEE roadmap gives a clear indication that Imperial Logistics will achieve a competitive recognition level under the new codes and it is anticipated that they will achieve a Level 5 status in 2016. It is likewise anticipated that Level 4 status will be achieved in 2017, with the group actively targeting Level 3 status by 2020. In order to avoid being discounted a level, the first challenge under the new codes will be to ensure that the sub-minimums for net value, skills development and preferential procurement are met.
In terms of net value, Imperial Logistics is proud to be leading the industry again with recognition of full points; which means that more than 25% equity ownership is 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.
Zikalala stresses that the complexity and scale of Imperial’s business means that the group will have to work harder to achieve minimums for skills development and preferential procurement which will not be achieved overnight, but says that the group is currently boosting clients’ preferential procurement through numerous enterprise development programmes. “We want to help our clients benefit from an enterprise development perspective and we are applying our logistics and supply chain experience to identifying, mentoring and upskilling enterprise development partners to work directly with clients. It is proving a win-win situation for our clients and their enterprise development beneficiaries and Imperial is happy to make a revenue sacrifice in order to nurture fledgling enterprises and assist clients with their procurement scorecards.”
Imperial is thus working to develop a pipeline of QSE and EME suppliers, actively seeking out businesses to collaborate with, and offering guidance and training to them, she adds.
“Our approach to B-BBEE has always been collaborative, and we constantly strive to work with all of our stakeholders – including clients, partners, suppliers, the public sector and Government – for mutual benefit. This is an opportunity to evaluate our achievements and embark on the next phase of our transformation journey. We will continue to accelerate transformation in an effort to not just meet targets and achieve recognition in terms of the revised codes, but to entrench transformation within our organisational culture and advance the transformation goals of the industry and the country,” Zikalala concludes.