Telkom SA Ltd. has emerged as South Africa's (SA's) most empowered company in the Financial Mail's first-ever Top Empowerment Companies (TEC) survey that was released this week.
Launched in Sandton on Wednesday by empowerment stalwart and Johnnic chairman, Cyril Ramaphosa, TEC 2004 is based on research of all companies listed on the Johannesburg Securities Exchange. The research was undertaken in partnership with empowerment rating agency, Empowerdex, and each company was given an estimated empowerment score based on the Department of Trade and Industry's Balanced Empowerment Scorecard.
The scorecard uses seven different factors to calculate a final score -- ownership, management, employment equity, skills development, affirmative procurement, enterprise development and social development. Those numbers have been analyzed to develop rankings of the top 200 most empowered listed companies.
The editor of Financial Mail, Caroline Southey, says that Telkom achieved its top ranking "with a strong showing in all seven empowerment factors, earning it a final score of 69.78 out of a maximum of 100." Telkom also took top place in the empowerment rankings for the telecommunications sector.
"BEE will dominate the corporate agenda for the foreseeable future. To date there has been a lack of information in the public domain about the true empowerment status of SA's major companies, and TEC is the first major undertaking to address that need," adds Southey.
Telkom's CEO, Sizwe Nxasana, says that the company was not surprised at its ranking as the most empowered listed company, as Telkom had adopted empowerment as a business imperative several years ago. "We started with aggressive transformation in 1997, and, while Telkom has achieved well across the board, there is still some work to be done," he continues.
He adds that empowerment would continue to remain high on Telkom's agenda for some years to come, as it was critical to the sustained growth of the business and the SA economy that the company supported the emergence of a broad-based black middle class through its empowerment initiatives.
"A significant portion of the Draft ICT Charter is based on what Telkom has been doing for several years, and, while we are willing to learn, we are also quite willing to share our experiences with other companies that have an interest," concludes Nxasana.