Bastion achieves Level 3 B-BBEE statusLisa Flanders
Author: Amber Sharp
As an SME with big dreams of seeing an inclusive South African economy come to life, we are incredibly proud to announce that our strategic initiatives have paid off, and we are officially a Level 3 B-BBEE company. Our diversity goal, supported by our B-BBEE strategy, is to achieve a Level 1 rating by 2025.
How we got here
Our business is rooted in our passion for empowerment, empowering our people, our clients, our community and our country’s youth. We have a comprehensive understanding of the B-BBEE framework within South Africa and have taken pro-active steps in terms of strategy, policy, people, processes and systems to move towards being a fully empowered organisation.
Some of the key initiatives that we have implemented to date:
We believe that Bastion belongs to #teamBastion. We all play a role in owning our success which is why we created our Employee Share Ownership Plan (ESOP), The Koketso Empowerment Trust. It is a 51% black-owned trust with a 26% ownership stake in Bastion. Our ESOP ensure that benefits flow to all our team.
We are committed to empowering our people to be the best that they can be, and what better way to do that than through education. As the old adage goes, “teach a man a to fish…”
Our Skills Development Expenditure initiatives for both Bastion’s internal employees and qualifying external individuals has been significantly increased.
In April 2019, we moved to new office facilities which include fully equipped boardrooms of various sizes to accommodate onsite training. We significantly increased our Skills Development spend and realised the score benefits ion this and future B-BBEE audit/s.
In addition to the above, we seek to encourage and develop female talent in our technical/web development departments. This year saw the conversion of two female web development interns to full-time employees and our current interns include two female candidates.
Skills development is a critical focus area for Bastion, and as part of our commitment to the Yes Initiative we currently provide learnerships to 70 students including 3 (three) disabled students.
Since 2017, high-performing individuals have been identified and promoted to management positions with a view to progressing into leadership roles. Selected individuals have received ongoing training and the necessary tools to equip them to move steadily through the management ranks and to excel in their positions.
Enterprise, supplier, and socio-economic development
Bastion continually endeavours to source and utilise suppliers that promote and advance economic transformation within South Africa. The points that we receive for the preferential procurement category substantiate this and we continue to strive to support transformation through these categories.
Projects that we undertook this year include:
- Producing ‘no-cost’ Annual Reports for NGOs.
- Designing, developing, hosting and maintaining qualifying supplier websites.
- Mentorship programme for small BEE business owners and start-ups.
- Producing marketing/pitching materials in the form of print and video production.
- Best Practice – sharing industry best practice knowledge with relevant South African and Internationally affiliated organisations to ensure a high-level of reporting within the South African environment, these include presentations and our commitment to the Investor Relations Society of South Africa and a full corporate membership of the Integrated Reporting Society of South Africa.
Recipients for this past year include:
- Girls and Boys Town
- The Kliptown Youth Programme
- Vodacom Foundation
- Aarya Legal
- African Graphix
- Mmino Publications (Music)
- Barleda Security
- Kusasa Cleaning
Where we’re headed
While we are incredibly proud of how far we’ve come, we are more committed than ever to reaching a level 1 rating by 2025. In order to achieve this, the following initiatives will be implemented in the medium to long-term:
- Increasing the Koketso Empowerment Trust’s direct ownership.
- Increasing our skills development spend and upskilling our employees.
- Fast-tracking individuals through the ranks into management positions.
- Seeking out qualifying organisations that would be able to utilise our help and industry expertise.
Thank you to our clients, suppliers, partners and #teamBastion for your unwavering support. We are proud to serve you as we work together to build a more inclusive South African economy.