Phumelela have been ranked the eighth most empowered company on the JSE, according to the Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) index formulated by Empowerdex.
The Most Empowered Company rankings sets the bar for the rest of the economy by showcasing the companies that have gone furthest in transforming South Africa’s business environment.
Considering the top 100 companies are highlighted in these rankings, being placed in the top 10 is a major accolade for Phumelela.
The rankings were unveiled at the Empowerdex-Business Report 100 Most Empowered Companies gathering held at The Maslow in Sandton, Johannesburg on Thursday.
Phumelela had the biggest rise in score and ranking of any of the top-10 rated companies. Their score rose from 86.12 in 2014 to 91.99 this year and their ranking rose from 20th to 8th.
Currently 47% of Phumelela's board of directors, including its chairman, is black; 54% of Phumelela's executive committee is black; 52% of Phumelela's senior management is black; and 87% of Phumelela's staff is black.
Phumelela have set in place initiatives to improve the life outlook for many of the previously disadvantaged in the industry.
Grooms now have an incentive in that 1% of all stake money in the country, which amounts to R4 million, is now allocated to them. Furthermore, they have a growth opportunity through the Work Riders’ Programme, initiated by the Thoroughbred Horseracing Trust in Gauteng. The Thoroughbred Horseracing Trust is a major shareholder of Phumelela who's objective is to ensure the long term viability of the sport.
Successful graduates have the opportunity to earn a portion of the R5.6 million allocated to the 72 work rider races staged annually. Furthermore, these races present an opportunity for work riders to prove themselves capable of becoming fully fledged jockeys. In addition, a life skills programme provides more opportunity for growth, as it includes education on financial management, health and hygiene as well as television coaching.
Additionally, grooms’ quarters at the horseracing facilities are provided and maintained at no cost to the grooms, Phumelela and Kenilworth Racing (managed by Phumelela) have upgraded grooms’ quarters at Randjiesfontein, the Vaal Racetrack, Turffontein Racetrack, Milnerton and Philippi at the cost of R7,450,000 since the 2007-2008 financial year.
Phumelela has made available a portion of its land at Fairview Racecourse in the Eastern Cape as a donation to a grooms trust for the purpose of developing fully serviced accommodation in cooperation with the local municipality.
Recreational facilities such as soccer fields for use by grooms residing at training centres owned by Phumelela and Kenilworth have been installed and in association with the Racing Association an annual grooms’ soccer tournament is organised which includes the provision of equipment. Horseracing trainers’ stable lease agreements have also been amended to ensure they comply with the Basic Conditions of Employment Act 75 of 1997 and conduct themselves in a lawful manner towards their employees.
On the jockey front, transformation has been extremely successful and last season South Africa had its first black champion jockey, S’manga Khumalo. Another black jockey Muzi Yeni is a regular in the top 10 on the national jockeys’ log and there are many other sought-after jockeys who come from previously disadvantaged backgrounds. Sixty percent of the annual intake of apprentice jockeys at the South African Jockeys’ Academy (SAJA) (which is partly funded by Phumelela) have been from a previously disadvantaged background for the last five years.
The Thoroughbred Horseracing Trust contributes R1 million to the running of SAJA and the Gauteng Jockeys Academy. The latter has been very successful in advancing the skills of apprentices who began their learning at SAJA.
The Trust has funded the training of eight Matriculants selected in 2008 from Orange Farm to become farriers. Six successfully passed their exams and have continued their development through the funding of the Trust.
The Thoroughbred Horseracing Trust contributes R10,6 million in stakes (prize money) to previously disadvantaged individuals.
The Trust contributes R2,1 million to the combat and control of African Horse Sickness in the interest of opening up international trade and competition for South African-bred thoroughbred racehorses.
During 2011 and 2012 an HIV awareness company travelled to each training centre on the Highveld to educate the grooms on HIV and to provide free testing, counselling and ARV information.
Phumelela, and proudly so!