People are at the heart and foundation of our business, which is why we’re working to grow, transform and develop our employees and suppliers as well as contributing towards the national development priorities of South Africa.
Through our Transformation strategy, we have a number of key focuses:
- We’re committed to the socio-economic transformation of our country and workforce and are working towards increasing equity ownership of Woolworths.
- On 30 June 2007 we launched our Black Empowerment Employee Share Ownership Scheme (BEEESOS) open to all previously disadvantaged employees who were employed as at 1 May 2007. The scheme officially matured in June 2015 and the shares allocated were converted into Woolworths ordinary shares, which owners can either sell or keep. The transaction has created R2.4 billion in value for the participants and R332 million has already been paid out as dividends over the period of the scheme. We continue to provide bursaries to the dependents of our employees from the schemess undistributed residual funds.
- We’re also transforming our supply chain by facilitating entry of small, black and women owned businesses into the Woolworths supply chain and supporting them to be sustainable businesses. We help these suppliers by offering preferential payment terms, low-cost loans and product development guidance through our supplier and enterprise development programme.
- We’re also contributing to South Africa’s national development priorities through our social development initiatives.