SAB and the Non-Discrimination Code

Tuesday, September 29th, 2015

A new corporate brand for SABOver the past 120 years, SAB has continually led the way in beer brewing, both on home soil and across the globe. However, the company is not just a leader in production, but in the field of business practices as well, focusing on consistently putting the needs of its employees first.

Just the previous year, South Africans had voted SAB their favourite brand in a Sunday Times survey. So why introduce change now?

1

By the 1970s SAB was the largest player in the South African beer market. One of the factors that led to the company’s continued success was its forward-thinking ethos. In 1971, SAB committed itself to dramatically increasing the number of black employees. Equality was a key feature of SAB’s business strategy – a decision that impacted transformational strategies going forward. Over the next few years SAB implemented a number of initiatives to improve the demographic representation of staff and ensure that the company as a whole embraced a culture of organisational diversity. In 1977, bursary schemes for employees were set up and SAB established a new allocation for housing loans to benefit black staff in the Beer Division.

2

Of all of SAB’s transformative decisions in the 70s, the most important was made in 1978, when SAB announced its systematised stand against discrimination – a company-wide contribution towards solving many of the social problems faced by employees. Through a set of radical new employment practices, a code of non-discriminatory employment was published, making SAB the first ever South African company to do so.

The code reflected SAB’s commitment to offer equal opportunity to all its employees, irrespective of race, colour, creed or sex. This meant, among other things, that all members of staff would receive a fair wage and be eligible for promotion and wage increases on the basis of merit. SAB also began implementing training and development programmes to improve employees’ skills and enable them to advance to positions of greater responsibility.

1

By the 90s, South Africa was moving closer towards social and political reform and the remaining Apartheid structures were replaced by the beginnings of a free and fair society. In order to address past injustices, SAB MD Meyer Kahn highlighted SAB’s ‘activist’ philosophy regarding entrepreneurial development. SAB would play its role in the nation’s transition by creating employment, developing opportunities and distributing skills in those communities that had been left behind. This, he argued, was the best way to bring previously-disadvantaged individuals into the mainstream of South African life.

2

SAB was actively involved with transformation and Black Economic Empowerment initiatives long before BBBEE was promulgated. Currently, more than 75% of the company’s employees are from previously disadvantaged groups and 58% of its workforce is black.

2

Since its launch in 2010, Zenzele – SAB’s broad-based black economic empowerment scheme – has generated some R6.6 billion in net value and paid out a total of R613 million in dividends to its beneficiaries: the SAB Zenzele Employee Trust, SAB Zenzele Holdings Limited (profiting black-owned beer and soft drink retailers) and the SAB Foundation Trust, which supports entrepreneurship projects to uplift low-income communities.

SAB’s performance as a business has always been closely related to the company’s active role in South Africa’s social and economic development. So it makes sense that members of South African society should reap some of the benefits.

Going forward, SAB continues to support youth entrepreneurship through its 20-year flagship Enterprise Development programme – SAB Kickstart – and pilot innovative ways to invest in the continuous growth and development of its retailers.

Through ongoing initiatives, SAB continues its legacy of prioritising both the success and development of its staff members, as well as its impact on society.

Here’s to another 120 years!

HeroOver the past 120 years, SAB has continually led the way in beer brewing, both on home soil and across the globe. However, the company is not just a leader in production, but in the field of business practices as well, focusing on consistently putting the needs of its employees first.

1

By the 1970s SAB was the largest player in the South African beer market. One of the factors that led to the company’s continued success was its forward-thinking ethos. In 1971, SAB committed itself to dramatically increasing the number of black employees. Equality was a key feature of SAB’s business strategy – a decision that impacted transformational strategies going forward. Over the next few years SAB implemented a number of initiatives to improve the demographic representation of staff and ensure that the company as a whole embraced a culture of organisational diversity. In 1977, bursary schemes for employees were set up and SAB established a new allocation for housing loans to benefit black staff in the Beer Division.

2

Of all of SAB’s transformative decisions in the 70s, the most important was made in 1978, when SAB announced its systematised stand against discrimination – a company-wide contribution towards solving many of the social problems faced by employees. Through a set of radical new employment practices, a code of non-discriminatory employment was published, making SAB the first ever South African company to do so.

The code reflected SAB’s commitment to offer equal opportunity to all its employees, irrespective of race, colour, creed or sex. This meant, among other things, that all members of staff would receive a fair wage and be eligible for promotion and wage increases on the basis of merit. SAB also began implementing training and development programmes to improve employees’ skills and enable them to advance to positions of greater responsibility.

1

By the 90s, South Africa was moving closer towards social and political reform and the remaining Apartheid structures were replaced by the beginnings of a free and fair society. In order to address past injustices, SAB MD Meyer Kahn highlighted SAB’s ‘activist’ philosophy regarding entrepreneurial development. SAB would play its role in the nation’s transition by creating employment, developing opportunities and distributing skills in those communities that had been left behind. This, he argued, was the best way to bring previously-disadvantaged individuals into the mainstream of South African life.

1

SAB was actively involved with transformation and Black Economic Empowerment initiatives long before BBBEE was promulgated. Currently, more than 75% of the company’s employees are from previously disadvantaged groups and 58% of its workforce is black.

1

Since its launch in 2010, Zenzele – SAB’s broad-based black economic empowerment scheme – has generated some R6.6 billion in net value and paid out a total of R613 million in dividends to its beneficiaries: the SAB Zenzele Employee Trust, SAB Zenzele Holdings Limited (profiting black-owned beer and soft drink retailers) and the SAB Foundation Trust, which supports entrepreneurship projects to uplift low-income communities.

SAB’s performance as a business has always been closely related to the company’s active role in South Africa’s social and economic development. So it makes sense that members of South African society should reap some of the benefits.

Going forward, SAB continues to support youth entrepreneurship through its 20-year flagship Enterprise Development programme – SAB Kickstart – and pilot innovative ways to invest in the continuous growth and development of its retailers.

Through ongoing initiatives, SAB continues its legacy of prioritising both the success and development of its staff members, as well as its impact on society.

Here’s to another 120 years!

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