Social and ethics committee report

This is the report of the Bidcorp social and ethics committee (committee) appointed for the financial year ended June 30th 2019 in compliance with the Companies Act and in terms of the JSE Listings Requirements.

This committee was constituted by shareholders’ special resolution passed on April 4 2016 and operates in terms of an annually reviewed and adopted board approved charter, most recently approved at the board meeting held on November 27 2018. The charter complies with the statutory requirements as set out in the Companies Act and is in line with the recommendations as set out by King IV. Copies are available either from the company secretary on request or can be downloaded from the group website.

Membership

The social and ethics committee members comprise Mr NG Payne (chairman), Mrs DD Mokgatle and Mrs H Wiseman, as well as chief executive Mr BL Berson, thus meeting charter and statutory requirements.

The board considers the membership of the committee adequate and the members are sufficiently experienced to perform their duties in line with the charter.

Purpose

Responsibilities of this committee are in line with the legislated requirements. The key areas of responsibility are listed below:

  • social and economic development;
  • empowerment and transformation;
  • corporate citizenship;
  • labour and employment;
  • environment, health and public safety;
  • ethics and code of conduct compliance;
  • stakeholder relations; and
  • regulatory, statutory and legislative compliance.

Attendance

The names of the members who were in office during the period under review and the number of committee meetings attended by each of the members are as follows:

Members August 21
2018
November 16
2018
August 20
2018
July 29
2019
August 27
2019
 
NG Payne (Chairman) ^ ^ ^ ^ ^  
H Wiseman ^ ^ ^ ^ ^  
DD Mokgatle ^ ^ ^ ^ ^  
BL Berson ^ ^ ^ ^ ^  

^ Attended in person, by video‐conference or tele‐conference.

Duties carried out

The committee believes progress can only be credibly reported if ESG indicators are identified, monitored, measured and recorded. Notably the monthly detailed ESG reporting processes have provided comparable metrics and insight across geographically and jurisdictionally diverse businesses. This ensures responsible corporate participation is engaged across the whole group. In addition, the review and interrogation provided by the quarterly divisional audit and risk committee meetings are an important source of oversight for reporting into the committee. Operations adopt individually determined targets for improved sustainability performance and in doing so meet group‐wide reporting metrics and targets, whilst all the while functioning efficiently within their unique operational requirements.

The committee monitors the group’s initiatives to promote diversity and advance the objectives of non‐discrimination. The Bidcorp Code of Ethics and the quarterly signed management representation letter submitted through the divisional audit and risk committee meetings are reviewed and updated as required for internal assurance governance process.

A fatality was reported in the year where sadly a Bidcorp employee, whilst performing his duties, died of natural causes. Our condolences are sent to the family.

We support our staff through wellness programmes. We remain committed to upholding the highest standards in health and safety initiatives for our staff.

The group‐wide health and safety awareness programme focused on the reinforcement of internal policies, training programmes and additional warning mechanisms to ensuring a safe work environment for all. Unfortunately two serious warehouse injuries were reported in the year.

Food safety remains a top priority for the committee, with quarterly updates and feedback provided from internal and external assurance providers. Incidents of listeria and food contamination do occur; however, are identified and quickly responded to through product recalls and effective communication. We are proud to note there were no serious incidents reported in the year, a non‐negotiable standard.

The risk and mitigations processes for fire safety detection, prevention and response have been a key focus area in the year and good progress has been made in this regard. Ongoing investment in modernising our facilities with regards to fire safety is a top priority.

Bidcorp’s commitment to maintaining an ethical environment is demonstrated through the independently administered Bidcorp whistle‐blowing facility. A group-wide marketing campaign has been launched, communicating the existence of local call facilities available in all major languages to every operation in the group. Review of the details of calls received and management follow‐up action is presented to the committee for review and approval.

Conclusion

Following the review by the committee for the year ended June 30 2019, the committee is of the opinion that, in all material respects, it has achieved its objectives for the financial year. The committee notes that there were no items identified by management nor reported directly to the members of the social and ethics committee by third parties, that would indicate any reportable non‐compliances, in terms of the Companies Act requirements.

Signed on behalf of the social and ethics committee by:

Nigel Payne
Chairman