Today's Labour News

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VodacomBusinessLive reports that Vodacom is to spend about R1.1bn on an employee share ownership scheme as part of its R17.5bn broad-based black economic empowerment (BEE) deal.  

In what will be the biggest BEE deal in the telecommunications sector, the scheme will benefit 4,637 permanent employees in SA.  "The employee share scheme effectively is for all employees, but black employees and [especially] black female employees will obviously get the lion’s share," Vodacom Group CEO Shameel Joosub indicated.  The scheme was targeted more towards general staff as opposed to management, he said.  It would be geared to give staff effective exposure to the group’s shares of R3.5bn — an average of nearly R755,000 per qualifying staff member.  Meanwhile, the group’s new BEE deal, which was announced on Monday, will replace the scheme that was launched in 2008 and which expires in October 2018.  If approved, the transaction will pool all of Vodacom’s BEE shareholders under a single entity, JSE-listed YeboYethu, and will see existing black shareholders exchanging their shares in Vodacom’s South African business for Vodacom Group stock, giving them exposure to other markets.  The transaction would raise the group’s black ownership from 17% to 20%, Joosub said.

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