By: THANDI SKADE
In making the announcement on Tuesday, MultiChoice also revealed that the board has recommended that black shareholders invested in its Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (BBBEE) scheme Phuthama Nathi be paid out R1,3 billion in ordinary dividends.
The 40% ownership stake is made up by the 20% stake owned by Phuthuma Nathi shareholders and 20,8% that is owned by black investors through Naspers.
“This is a great story, we are excited to have so many black South Africans as part of our transformation journey, and sharing in our growth and future,” said Nolo Letele, MultiChoice South Africa Holdings Chairperson.
“We are also proud of the transformation that has been achieved within MultiChoice itself over the past 10 years. The company has been transformed to become far more representative of the South African society – for example, 64% of its directors are black, and almost 70% of its staff is black.”
MultiChoice said that the actual amount to be paid out to shareholders will be determined and approved at Phuthama Nathi’s annual general meeting to be held in August.
“This is excellent news, it is more than a financial success story; it is also a successful economic transformation story. It clearly demonstrates MultiChoice’s commitment to playing a leading role in transforming the South African economy,” Phuthuma Nathi Chairman Mandla Langa said in a statement.
MultiChoice is among the most empowered media companies in the country, ranking 12th, according to the latest Empowerdex Top 100 Empowerment Report thanks by and large to its BBBEE scheme of companies launched in 2006 that has to date paid out a total of R6,5 billion in dividends to around 90 000 shareholders.
Shareholders who bought shares in Phuthama Nathi in 2007 worth R1 000 would have received a total of R20 218 over the nine years.
“As a board, we are proud of the role our shareholders have played in transforming MultiChoice into a more representative South African business. We would like to continue our positive relationship with our shareholders,” Langa said.
Letele said the company was humbled by the role it was playing towards the easing of “the economic squeeze” being experienced by shareholders amid weak economic growth and rising inflation.
“We’re pleased to be able to ease the economic squeeze for our shareholders at this time while also contributing significantly to our fiscal, and, on a broader level, contributing meaningfully to the social fibre of our economy,” he said.
“This enables a broader body of South Africans to limit the negative impact of the economic down cycle. We see it as indicative of the underlying resilience and strength of the South African economy, at a time when good economic news is rare.”
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