MultiChoice’s bigger bite into empowerment
MULTICHOICE South Africa, a leading video entertainment and internet company, has more than 100 000 black South Africans participating in its shareholding scheme.
Moreover, with with 51 percent broad-based black empowerment ownership and 30 percent effective black women ownership, it boasts a certified Level 1 B-BBEE contributor status.
Nonetheless, Executive Chairperson, Nolo Letele, is quick to assure that the company is not resting on those laurels.
He says, “We approach empowerment in its broadest sense, from skills development to enterprise development and even investment in communities.
“Even at those levels we, once again, adopt a broad policy approach. For example, our skills development initiatives go way beyond our employees to benefit even our suppliers.”
Letele elaborates: “We launched Phuthuma Nathi, our shareholding scheme for black South Africans as early as 2006.
“Having reached the 100 000 shareholder mark that 20 percent ownership level includes individuals, stokvels and black-owned companies.
“We’ve seen families not just cashing in on their dividends but investing towards education of their kids and giving a facelift to their existing homes to up their property value.”
He speaks of how, a few years back, Multichoice began supporting small businesses in its sector: “Through our Enterprise Development programme we give funds to local and media companies.
“We train them and allow them to grow in their businesses, to become entrepreneurs and compete successfully in the marketplace.
“It’s been an interesting journey to see companies in this programme like Moving Ads, S2Multimedia, Pixel Perfect Productions, Tick-A-Target and others succeeding in these tough economic times.”
This year Multichoice has approved funding for 16 businesses and disbursed more than R100 million in loans, grants and business development expenses, while offering skills development and training to more than a 100 entrepreneurs.
The company’s BEE initiatives involves black ownership through Phuthuma Nathi, management structure, training development programmes across all its businesses, preferential procurement for small businesses, assisting and accelerating development of business.
Industry related initiatives include the donation of broadcast technology to community TV stations.
The chairman says a number of these initiatives are playing a big role in developing scarce skills in the industry: M-Net’s local content drive includes productions like Isibaya, The Voice and The Queen.
The use of designated groups as production partners at SuperSport and M-Net.
The Enterprise Development initiative gives funds to small and medium sized local media and production companies. They are also on our the Multichoice preferential procurement supplier database.
Learning and development programmes include SuperSport Academy, Magic in Motion and the MultiChoice Graduate Programme.
He adds, “Other pockets of excellence in skills development include: programmes attended by 242 leaders as well as work experience and mentorship for 122 interns.
“Our graduate programme employed 17 graduates and, in all, 90% were offered employment elsewhere.
“Of the R8,3 million we spent on leadership development, R5 million went to women.
“Importantly, we also invested R11,5 million in bursaries.”
This year, Mandela Day was celebrated through a partnership with Habitat for Humanity and 61 year old Daphne Mashele now owns her first house.
Until now, home has been a dilapidated shack, susceptible to winter weather and shared with her two grandchildren – Samukelo Molefe aged 10 and Lebo Molefe aged 9.
Samu and Lebo who were abandoned by their mother when they were five and four years of age respectively.
She shares, “It has always been my dream to live in a decent home that would offer me and my grandchildren comfort, privacy and dignity”.
The MultiChoice Group operates under various brands, including: DStv, M-Net, SuperSport, GOtv and Digital Media Sales.
Executive Chairman Nolo Letele