Real transformation through the economic empowerment of black women, who will add value to the company, has been reached at heavy equipment manufacturer Bell Equipment.
The company recently concluded a Broad Based Black Economic Empowerment agreement with SiBi Capital, an entity entirely owned and managed by black women.
SiBi Capital is represented by Bharti Harie and Sindi Mabaso-Koyana
Explaining the reason behind the new agreement, Bell Group CEO, Gary Bell, said the agreement has been specifically structured to pursue real transformation through the economic empowerment of black women, while also aligning the company’s business strategy with government’s economic transformation policies.
Bell believes this will place the company in a unique position to be the only yellow equipment company that produces locally, and will also allow its customers to be able to claim the benefit of purchasing from a 30% black women owned entity.
This could then potentially earn the company an additional four points on their overall BBBEE verification, which in turn increases their ability to bid for and win contracts.
In terms of the agreement, SiBi Capital holds 22.5% of shares in Bell Equipment Sales South Africa (BESSA), the wholly owned subsidiary of Bell Equipment.
BESSA provides sales and aftermarket support for Bell designed and manufactured products, as well as partner products in South Africa. This includes all South African customer service centres, the company’s subsidiaries in Namibia and Swaziland, as well as Bell Finance, the joint venture with Wesbank.
Harie and Mabaso-Koyana each own 50% of the entity.
A further 7.5% stake in BESSA will be held by the newly formed Bell Equipment Foundation (BEF), a broad-based trust which will have black women as its beneficiaries, while Bell Equipment retains 70% ownership.
“It was necessary to create a sustainable funding structure that is not reliant on external finance,” Bell said. “We believe that this objective has been met and that we can create a long-term relationship with SiBi Capital, through Bharti and Sindi, who can add real value to the BESSA business.”
“Both women are extremely accomplished,” he added. “Bharti headed up the Corporate Funding and International Finance Departments of the Industrial Development Corporation, presently serves as an independent non-executive on the boards of Lenmed Investments, Ascendis Health and the Mineworkers Investment Company and is also chairman of various sub-committees.
“Most importantly she has served on the Bell Board for the past six years and is perfectly suited as a BEE partner to BESSA due to her direct knowledge of Bell, its history, vision and industry challenges,” he added.
Mabaso-Koyana is a Chartered Accountant by profession.
“Her corporate life has included roles as CFO of Transnet, managing director of Viamax Logistics, executive partner at Ernst & Young, amongst others and has also served on a number of boards like SAA, Armscor, and Altron,” Bell said.
Her current board positions include Adcorp Holdings, MTN Zakhele and Toyota South Africa.
“Sindi is passionate about women’s development and is a founder member of African Women Chartered Accountants (AWCA),” Bell added. “She also helped found AWCA’s investment arm as a broad based investment company which she currently chairs.”
She has also been named one of the Top 20 Most Powerful Women in South Africa by the Financial Mail.