R100 million donated to New Clicks Foundation to fund pharmacy bursaries
Cape Town – Over 5 800 Clicks Group employees will share in the R1.3 billion value that has been created through the group’s broad-based BEE employee share ownership scheme.
The R1.3 billion represents the first 50% payout under the scheme and the second and final payment will be made in 2019. In addition, participants in the scheme have received dividends totaling R34 million over the past six years.
The scheme has empowered almost 7 839 current and former employees to become shareholders in Clicks Group, with many of these beneficiaries owning shares for the first time.
84% of the beneficiaries of the scheme are black employees and 66% female.
The employee share scheme was introduced in 2011 when 10% of the group’s issued shares at the time were placed in the Employee Share Ownership Trust to be allocated to all full-time permanent employees. Senior black employees, longer serving employees and pharmacists received a higher share allocation. Senior executives do not participate in this employee share scheme.
Group human resources director Bertina Engelbrecht said the share ownership scheme was introduced to allow employees to share in the long-term growth of the Clicks Group.
“Extending equity ownership to employees has also enabled the group to accelerate transformation and build on the progress that we have made across all the other areas of BBBEE. Clicks Group has been consistently rated as a top empowered retailer and a top gender empowered company,” she said.
“In South Africa the war for talent is ongoing and the employee ownership scheme has assisted the group in attracting and retaining scarce retail and healthcare skills which are in high demand locally and internationally.”
“This has been complemented by learnership and graduate development programmes across several retail disciplines, as well as our in-house Pharmacy Healthcare Academy which trains pharmacy assistants.”
Engelbrecht said Clicks is committed to playing a role in addressing the severe shortage of pharmacists in the country “which is critical to the sustainability of our business and to the pharmacy profession”.
“As the largest employer of pharmacy staff in the private sector in South Africa with over 2 700 pharmacy and clinic professionals, we continue to invest in capacity creation. Since 2012 the group has funded bursaries for 400 pharmacy students and provided internships for 266 pharmacy graduates.”
Clicks Group today also announced a R100 million donation from the Employee Share Ownership Trust to the New Clicks Foundation to support students in further education. The Foundation will initially fund 100 bursaries for pharmacy students annually.
Engelbrecht said the R100 million injection from the share scheme trust to the New Clicks Foundation over the next two years will enable Clicks to grant 100 bursaries each year to ensure a sustainable pipeline of pharmacists entering the profession.