Following an audit by independent verification body Empowerdex in February 2011, Afrox has achieved a Level 3 BBBEE (Broad Based Black Economic Empowerment) rating. Afrox is the only gas company in the country to have acquired this level to date. Together with being a value-add enterprise this now means Afrox customers can now claim 137.5% black spend for the purpose of their own BBBEE scorecards.
Winky Makwela, Afrox Employee Relations Manager, says this is a significant achievement for the business, giving us the highest BBBEE rating among other South African gas suppliers.
“We’ve proved that Afrox is a company that has fully embraced the transition required in the local business arena and that we’re moving forward all the time,” she says. “The higher rating means we are now even better placed to do business. The new rating will give Afrox a marketable advantage over companies that have a lower rating, since the gas market is very competitive and the scorecard rating is a factor considered by customers when selecting a gas supplier.
“This also means that we are doing very well on our corporate transformation journey. The main factors responsible for boosting us up to Level 3 are the big improvements in our Employment Equity and Skills Development spheres. In terms of points, we went up from an Employment Equity score of 4,42 last year to 6,88 and from a Skills Development score of 9,9 to a current 12.
“Afrox is committed to playing its role in the transformation of South African business and our elevated BBBEE rating is proof that we’re very serious about this,” says Winky. “I’m particularly thrilled that one of the pivotal factors in this achievement was skills development. This is going to be where we’re going to derive our biggest long term benefit.”
Afrox is placing a lot of emphasis on staff training and development, as well as on recruitment. Targets are being closely tracked to ensure that recruitment is in line with company policy. BBBEE audits take place annually, but progress across the entire scorecard is monitored throughout the year, with processes and policies regularly reviewed to make sure the company does not lag behind on its targets.
BBBEE is measured against seven elements: Equity Ownership, Management Control, Employment Equity, Skills Development, Preferential Procurement, Enterprise Development and Socio-economic Development.