24 August 2017
Leading the pack to new levels under the revised BEE codes
We at Ricoh SA, which used to be wholly owned by Ricoh Europe, have implemented a black ownership structure that achieves 53% black and 30% black women ownership.
The new ownership structure empowers South Africans, and we feel demonstrates our belief in the South African and African markets as a business destination, and signal our commitment to our network of local partners. Ricoh could, as a multinational company, have implemented a Flow Through approach but chose the rigours of a B-BBEE structure instead.
We dedicated ourselves to this new representative shareholding and sustainable development of previously disadvantaged communities for 18 months. The culmination of this effort is that our customers get 100% procurement recognition from our Level 4 B-BBEE status based on our BEE verification. The certification is based on the revised Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Sector Scorecard codes. And we feel it’s a feather in our cap that Ricoh is one of only a handful of companies in our market to achieve this rating under the revised codes.
However, we will not rest on these laurels. We have appointed a permanent BEE executive to manage our BEE levels and improve our black empowerment transformation moving forward. We are proud that we have far exceeded BEE requirements of the new BEE scorecard and can share the benefits with our customers. And we will endeavour to build on this achievement.
We feel this accomplishment of an international organisation going above and beyond what was absolutely necessary is in line with our founder’s principles. Kiyoshi Ichimura declared his Spirit of Three Loves that guide our mission and values: “Love your neighbour, love your country, love your work.”
Our empowerment and ownership structure partners us with Phakamani Foundation and Support Teacher Empowerment Trust (STET).
Phakamani Foundation is a public benefit organisation (PBO) that empowers poor rural women to succeed in their own micro-enterprises. The organisation provides an integrated programme of training micro-entrepreneurs to save to support their own micro-enterprises.
The Support Teacher Empowerment Trust (STET) beneficiaries are black South African teachers and trainee teachers. The organisation grants bursaries and training for students to study teaching as well as qualified teachers to further their studies. STET works with ORT SA to empower black South African women teachers.