Shoprite grabs empowerment flag with 100000 employed

South African retailing giant Shoprite Group is claiming an auspicious title of the being one of the largest employers on the African continent in what captures one of the successful ventures of South African company into the continent. Shoprite is also positioned as one of the largest retailers in the continent with operations across 17 countries.

Releasing its financial results for the year ended June, Shoprite said it now employs more than 100 000 people across the continent and couched this in a language that fits into the empowerment themes.

This will be seen against rising criticism against Shoprite and other retailers who are underperformers on the broad based black economic empowerment (BBBEE) scorecard. Shoprite is yet to conclude e BBBEE equity deal and its top governance bodies, including the board, remain one of the most untransformed as overwhelmingly dominated by white males. This has led to accusations that groups like Shoprite are only happy to have black people as consumers and not decision makers.

In its financial results statement Shoprite said its employee base numbers have exploded following a successful store opening programme. This created more than 7000 jobs, equalling the amount of jobs created in the previous financial year. The group said turnover rose 14.4$ in the year ended June (2012) to R82.73bn while trading profit rose 17% to R4,6bn.

The group said almost 99% of staff members of the Shoprite Group are recruited from the communities where stores are located in the 17 countries in which the Group does business.

The 100 000 milestone was reached with the employment of Mr William Paulse who is a Liquor Controller in the N1 City Checkers Liquor Shop in the Western Cape.

The 34-year old father of two is said to be delighted at being the 100 000th staff member of the company which now operates 1 334 own outlets under its various brands in across the African continent.

In the financial year ending June 2012 the group added a net 90 new outlets to its store network, of which 61 were supermarkets.

Shoprite Holdings chief executive Whitey Basson  Group said: “Most of our employees were previously disadvantaged and through their employment at the Shoprite group all now have a viable financial future.”

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