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Stakeholders and stakeholder engagement

We value our people and recognise that successful businesses are built on loyal, motivated and fulfilled employees. Equally important are meeting the requirements of investors, customers, suppliers and other stakeholders.

Stakeholders are defined as entities or individuals that can reasonably be expected to be significantly affected by the organisation’s activities, products and/or services; and whose actions can reasonably be expected to affect the ability of the organisation to successfully implement its strategies and achieve its objectives.

Stakeholders in the group include investors, potential investors, providers of finance, employees, trade unions, customers, contractors, suppliers, franchisees, franchisors, motor manufacturers, media, communities, civil society, regulators and government departments. Our customers span virtually every facet of society and include central, provincial and local government, large, medium and small business, various industries and individuals across the world.

Our interaction with stakeholders reflects our unique culture and business model. We seek to maximise shareholder value over time through an intelligent regard for the interests of all stakeholders, from the communities associated with our operations to our business partners. Our divisions are well equipped to communicate with stakeholders.

Proactive stakeholder engagement

During the year we have identified a need to have a more structured approach to stakeholder engagement, and we are currently engaging with a third-party provider to assist us with a framework document that will define our stakeholder engagement and what it will mean to us.

The mechanisms we make available to our employees to provide feedback or recommendations to the company include, Group CEO stakeholder feedback forums which are held bi-annually, shop floor briefings, direct communication with line managers, formal grievance procedures and an independently managed ethics line which allows the employee to remain anonymous.

Our stakeholders have the opportunity to communicate with the board at the company’s annual general meeting or to make use of shareholder resolutions.

In recent years, we have enhanced our level of interaction with stakeholders, recognising that the survival of our business is aligned to our stakeholders.

The group provides information to the public and its shareholders based on the guidelines of promptness, relevance, openness and substance over form. We strive for balance by reporting both the positive and negative aspects of group performance. Regular presentations and meetings with investors and analysts are held to communicate group strategy and performance.

Stakeholders are engaged primarily on the basis of their impact on the group. Investors are engaged at regular scheduled intervals including results announcements, general meetings, one-on-one meetings and investor days. Shareholders also have the opportunity to question the board at annual general meetings. Customers and staff are engaged on an ad hoc basis and at regular scheduled meetings.

Stakeholder concerns

We include stakeholder concerns raised by our stakeholders in our process for identifying the company’s sustainable development risks.

We used the relative importance placed on these issues during our engagement with stakeholders and the frequency with which they were raised, as a means of identifying these issues.

Stakeholder concerns are raised in a number of different ways. They can be received as a formal concern or query lodged with the company; or raised in stakeholder forums.

We either provide feedback informally in the forum or telephonically; where appropriate, we will respond in writing. We also consider the interests and expectations from stakeholder engagement initiatives that have taken place during the year when preparing the content of our annual sustainability report.

Our approach to stakeholder engagement favours personal interaction but where this is not possible other methods such as surveys and call centres are used. This occurs in divisions with large individual customer bases such as car rental, insurance and automotive retail.

The group has endeavoured to ensure that this report meets the material reporting needs of stakeholders. Imperial recognises that the group consists of a number of diverse businesses, each with its own unique features, stakeholders and operating environments. It is the group’s philosophy to empower local and divisional management who are best placed to identify and engage stakeholders on virtually all levels and to ultimately make decisions within agreed guidelines.


We believe this report represents a balanced and reasonable picture of our organisation’s economic, environmental and social performance, covering all material topics and indicators.

The table below contains a summary of the broad categories of stakeholders that have been identified, their concerns, impacts and Imperial’s engagements with them:

  Stakeholder Who is included in this group How do we engage with them
  Investors Shareholders
Financial investors
Providers of finance
Investment analysts
Integrated annual report, annual and interim results presentations, local and international investor roadshows and one-on-one engagements, conferences, general meetings, media and regulatory releases, analysts reports
  Government and regulators National and local government
Johannesburg Securities Exchange (JSE)
Self-regulatory bodies
South African Revenue Services
South African Reserve Bank
Regular liaison with various government departments both at a company level and through industry bodies, engagement with municipalities, forums, statutory reporting and regulatory releases, input on new legislation
  Employees and trade unions Staff
Representative unions
Regular roadshows and presentations, staff development and training programmes, in-house magazines, health, safety and employment equity committees, one-on-one engagement, bargaining councils, operational forums, wage negotiations, Ukhamba Trust
  Customers Purchasers of goods and services supplied by the group including individuals, orporates, government, non-government organisations (NGOs) Individual engagement, written communications, media, regular meetings and long-term communication plans, service questionnaires and surveys, social media, call centres, advertising campaigns
  Suppliers Motor and industrial equipment manufacturers, goods and services suppliers, contractors Dealer forums, individual engagement, contacts, franchise agreements, ongoing engagement to communicate the group’s requirements and needs
  Business partners Co-shareholders in group businesses, black economic empowerment (BEE) partners Financial and other joint venture partners Business meetings, board meetings and committees, regular reporting, distribution agreements, long-term individual relationships
  Media Print media, electronic media, local interest publications, radio and television Individual engagements, press conferences, press releases, communication agencies, social media, electronic communication, branding programmes, individual relationships
  Civil society and communities People affected by our various businesses, both positively and negatively Individual engagements, press publications, I-Pledge campaign, Ukhamba Trusts and the Imperial and Ukhamba Community Development Trust, engagement with and participation in civil society programmes including schools and training initiatives
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