Today’s highly dynamic and competitive business environment requires that our approach to ethics and compliance with laws be unwavering, proactive and strategic as regulatory and public expectations continue to evolve. In this regard, Acino constantly strives to ensure compliance with local laws founded on its Code of Conduct which instills a consistent approach to compliance across our organisation. The Broad Based Black Economic Empowerment Act (“B-BBEE”) is one such important piece of legislation which, over the years of South Africa’s democracy has become a way doing business in South Africa.
Our philosophy of diversity ardently resonates with South Africa’s philosophy of equal opportunity, as embodied in our values and drives diversity within our business on all platforms. Whilst ensuring that we meet all elements of B-BBEE verification, Acino has particularly focused on Preferential Procurement, investment in Enterprise and Supplier Development which we believe are the nub of redressing the exclusion of Black majority’s participation in the main stream economy. This is undertaken through amongst others initiatives aimed at advancing the socio-economic development of communities in the immediate areas of its business operations. Acino currently enjoys a Level 3 B-BBEE status and plans are afoot to achieve an improved level in this regard.
As we focus on growing our business and becoming more competitive, Acino remains keenly aware that with its growth comes greater responsibility to all its stakeholders. Currently, one of its operations is poised to providing products which not only extensively support local employment creation, but address a critical societal and environmental ill currently facing South Africa.
‘Over the last three years, this operation within our organisation has been able to provide employment for more than 120 individuals from the previously disadvantaged sector who have basic to limited educational qualifications.’ Says Trevor Reddy, Head of Market Access, Pricing, Tenders and B-BBEE.
‘Through this initiative, we are able to provide these individuals with an opportunity to earn a fair income, as well as gain exposure, that being part of the business provides through work experience.
‘These individuals are all drawn from the local community, are previously disadvantaged and sadly, often find themselves in dire socio-economic circumstances, with entire families often reliant on our ability to provide employment for a single breadwinner. This is a responsibility that we do not carry lightly, but we are privileged to be able to impact positively upon.’
‘We are here to stay and help South Africa, and our community grow. This certification demonstrates that commitment and we look forward to making a difference for Patients, HCP’s and Employees well in to the future’, adds John Norman, General Manager, Acino Healthcare and Regional Director English-Speaking Africa.
What is B-BBEE?
The objective of B-BBEE is to correct inequalities that were placed on the population in the past through apartheid. Due to the lack of opportunities in terms of the education and skills development given to the previously disadvantaged groups the poverty gap has grown significantly and it is difficult to find a balance of economic participation. B-BBEE is intended to stimulate the process of participation of previously disadvantaged groups in the economy to lead to increased economic growth.
BEE is a simple government policy, which is mostly referred to as Black Economic Empowerment.