To align itself with the Information & Communication Technology (ICT) Charter and the Department of Trade and Industry's Codes of Good Practice regarding BEE, Accenture has sold 30 percent of ordinary shares in its South African operations to a black-owned trust, a majority of whose trustees are black directors of Accenture. The trust, known as the "Akha Trust", combines the benefits of an owner-operator model with the advantages of broad-based BEE.
"The income generated by the trust will be used to fund broad-based BEE initiatives," said Mandla Nhlapo, chairman of the trust's board of trustees. "Our new arrangement creates an immediate 30 percent black shareholding for Accenture in South Africa, which cannot be lost through share trading, while simultaneously enabling broad-based benefits of black shareholding without a capital outlay by black beneficiaries. The owner-operator model breaks perceptions of BEE-related equity partners with limited knowledge and operational control of the businesses in which they are investing."
Accenture is already fully in line with the ICT Charter's employment equity targets, with 55 percent of its workforce and 56 percent of its board in South Africa comprised of black professionals.