Our Equity Charter

Our Equity Charter

 

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The OFT Group Equity Charter - Africa.

 

Please find herewith the abridged Policy position of OFT Holdings regarding Equity and Transformation which is made available to all its members.  

 

Background 

The OFT Group has been built on the belief that the only way to do business is through developing, harnessing and protecting our human capital. The principle of engaging in business practises that not only expands the company, but also ensures that everyone is nurtured and offered the opportunity to grow and develop themselves has been, and still is, the cornerstone of our development Strategy.

 

To date, the bulk of our business revenues have been derived from outside our borders by providing specialist services and engineering products to clients who predominantly have their head offices in South Africa. From a small regional business, we have grown into an international service provider with registered offices and representatives in Mozambique, Kenya, Namibia, Zambia, Botswana, and Nigeria.It was through doing business with these African markets that we came into contact with various persons who were driving positive change in their respective countries.

 

However, despite the rapid business developments taking place on the continent, we could not help but observe the poverty and inequality in these countries. We also saw that the lack of basic amenities and access to wealth generating vehicles was growing at an alarming rate. Simply put, the rich were getting richer while the poor were getting poorer.

 

From our Africa head offices in Port Elizabeth in the Eastern Cape region of South Africa, we have been building a business that can confidently embrace the realization that the world’s rapidly growing interconnectedness, which is fuelled by the growth of social media and instant access to each others opinions, is transforming the way the world works and how we need to react so as to remain successful in both our business ventures and investments.

The Arab Spring illustrated that the unimaginable is possible and that power can be shifted from the hands of the ‘authorities’ to the hands of the people. The protests and movements of the ‘common people’ are becoming more powerful than ever before in their ability to influence governmental policy decisions. In light of the above, it is incumbent upon us to hear the cries of the ‘common people’. We need to assist the young citizens of Africa in the attainment of the means to create a positive future for themselves by honestly listening to their generation, a generation whose voices still speak of the growing inequality that still exists across our continent.

 

Emeritus Bishop Desmond Tutu once said, “The reason the world is in such a mess is that we are going against the fundamental principle of humanity, that we are one common family and that what I do to you, I do to myself.”

 

When looking at how we can contribute to driving change in our country we need to heed his words and work together with like-minded businesses, as well as our government, to build an equitable world. As South Africans we need to find new and expedient ways to not only create better and more employment opportunities, we also need to encourage budding entrepreneurs to enter the market place which in turn will create job opportunities and help to grow the economy.

 

As an organization we at OFT are not afraid to break conventional operating rules in the implementation of innovative,alternative and entrepreneurial ways of doing business in all of the countries in which we trade.

 

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The OFT Equity Charter 

Our equity charter is based on two fundamental requirements.Firstly, it requires a narrow shift of focus with relation to our short term financial goals to a broader understanding of what it means to make a profit while simultaneously creating value for shareholders, employees, customers and everyone affected by our business activities.Secondly, it requires that staff members be continually developed and nurtured so that they become core to the activities of our business, and it requires that that our operations actively work to create more and better job opportunities.

 

Across Africa young people are grabbing virtually any opportunity to escape poverty. This occurs against a backdrop where industry giants across Africa make billions by re-inventing their product offerings driven by high yield and low capital investment strategies. In Africa change is sorely needed. No one can ignore the issues we are facing any longer. Unemployment and its bedfellow poverty create a whole host of socio-economic conditions that are impeding the growth of South Africa. The only solution is to work in partnership with the people and government to create sustainable and life changing opportunities. To achieve this we are committed to re-inventing how we conduct our business so as to ensure that we give our poverty stricken citizens economic freedom by creating opportunities for entrepreneurship and by taking a long term view of investing profit and sharing profit based on productivity and efficiency.

 

In essence, it is about people using their skills and determining ways to use the assets of our business, not only to drive profit, but to create a better country in which to live.Sadly, up to now, most South African corporations still use corporate social responsibility charters as a marketing strategy or merely as an activity to improve their BEE ratings.

 

What is required, in our opinion, is that we recognize that our efforts need to come from a grassroots level.We believe that most people, even the most deprived, don’t just want to be told what’s good for them; they want to be involved in improving their own lives.

 

It is with due consideration that we have launched our OFT Equity Charter so as to drive the changes we need to effect within our Group and to accelerate progress as committed to in our Charter.

 

Our Road Ahead 

Our Group, its members, and our experience in Africa, need to become the transformation engine that connects people and entrepreneurial ideas to make change happen. We fully realise that this is the beginning of a journey for our charter, and that this journey will encompass a long learning curve. This journey will commence in the Eastern Cape and we trust it will expand to the remainder of South Africa.Our specialist qualities and services as well as our experience in numerous developing countries has taught us that only efficient administration, continuous training and Human Capital development unlocks success and employment opportunities in countries where dire skills shortages exist.

 

In Mozambique alone, this model has led to a business that over the last 12 years has created 65 jobs for local citizens who manage the entire operation which services Global players such as SAB Miller, Coca Cola and others. Their technical capability, as a matter of record, rivals that of any global competitor. The key to achieving our goals in this country was to recognise the power of communication and interconnectedness which allowed previously unskilled staff to be “connected” to central mentoring and an on-going support system.

 

As mentioned previously, a suitable candidate can operate his business venture by means of a simple cell phone, which if given the right support, allows entrepreneurial solutions to be provided to remote areas by means of accurate administration, logistics, statutory and accounting support.What better way to transfer skills than to deliver them to the coalface in real time?

 

Another great advantage of our Group is that our diversity has allowed us to accumulate a variety of specialist and scarce skills that are greatly sought after across Africa. Over the last 5 years we have created over 200 sustainable jobs on our own and independently within 27 strategic business units.

 

Our Business Model Proposal 

It is imperative that everyone with whom we work realises that while we readily acknowledge that there is much to be done in all sectors of our country, only a genuine and committed desire to bring about positive change will make a difference.

 

While so many across the globe lament the corruption and inefficiency in Africa, it must be said that change can only be affected when those of us who have been fortunate enough to acquire wealth play a key role in looking at how we can use our means to make our country a more equitable place in which to live.

 

Across Africa, there need not be incompatibility between doing business in an ethical and transparent way and achieving sound returns to shareholders, stakeholders and staff. This ’dilemma’ must be addressed because as a Group our success to date has been based on excellent administration skills and transparency in business dealings.

 

These very ethics have enabled us to offer our clients a simple alternative as a solution to their procurement needs and sustainable budget planning. During 2006 we presented the concept of our Open Book Costing Model to International clients. No longer merely a ‘concept’, it is fast becoming the benchmark by which progress and value are measured.

 

Our intention is to approach a business model that values both service and integrity to ensure our survival, not only as a country but as a continent.

 

We invite all of those who wish to be a part in driving drive this much-needed change forward, to read our model and see therein its value as a sustainable Entrepreneurial strategy.

 

Services, Capacity and Capability 

Our activities to date are all well documented and available directly off our Group Websites.

 

Our Equity and Transformation Charter 

While our Charter is applicable within all countries in which we do business, we wish to place on record the following with specific reference to our own country.

 

We are committed to driving our Equity charter by means of transparency, integrity and by committing to bringing about real change. 
We are dedicated to offering OBC models which will allow our Group to distribute Profit to all stakeholders while generating value to our shareholders. 
We are committed to the transfer of skill’s, ownership and leadership based on attitude and aptitude.
We are devoted to growing employment and business opportunities with integrity. 
We are committed to growing the values of service and experience.
We are committed to using all the resources and passion at our disposal to drive our equity charter.
We are committed to driving transformation in South Africa not only to satisfy legislative requirements but because we care and believe that what I do to you, I do to myself.” 
We are committed to being held accountable for our actions and we are committed to the measurement and public reporting on our progress and support received.


This charter document is available off our Group websites while the measurement of our progress and support achieved will be posted on our Group Human Resources website.

 

We invite any interested party to contact any of our professional team should they wish to know more about how we can drive the change envisaged and committed to in our Charter.