As an integral part of a major broad-based socio-economic empowerment transaction, Lafarge South Africa Holdings set up two Trusts:
1. The Lafarge Education Trust aims to contribute to improving the quality of education in South Africa, especially for individuals in historically disadvantaged communities close to Lafarge operating sites. Individuals, schools and communitiesare assisted to develop sustainable solutions to the problems and challenges they face assessing quality education. The Trust supports a wide spectrum of education interventions ranging from the provision of infrastructure, social and academic skills, bursaries and exposure to post study opportunities.
2. The Lafarge Community Trust aims to mobilise comunities to access resources and improve their quality of life. The particular focus is on empowering women and visually empaired youths in marginalised communities.
On 15 December 2006, Lafarge South Africa Holdings (Pty) Ltd ("Lafarge SA"), the local subsidiary of Lafarge, the world leader in building materials, announced the conclusion of a ground-breaking R1.1 billion broad-based socio-economic empowerment transaction. In essence, the transaction involved the sale of 26% of Lafarge SA's mining and 10% of its manufacturing businesses to its employees and Sinako (Pty) Ltd, a women-led empowerment consortium.
Sinako holds 75% of the empowerment stake, while two joint lead partners, Peotona Group Holdings and Motjoli Resources hold 40% of Sinako. The remaining ordinary shares in Sinako are held in a broad-based independent Education Trust (53%) and a Community Trust (7%).
The structuring of the transaction was considered to set a high standard for empowerment deals. In particular, it was felt that the Education Trust would allow Lafarge SA to contribute to a very critical area of South Africa's development, while supporting the Government's policy to comprehensively address the country's skills shortage.
Making Transformation a Reality
"The needs among South Africa's communities are daunting challenges. The biggest contributor to helping our people break the poverty cycle is to invest in education for the children. Lafarge has long recognised that the company is an integral part of any community where it operates and investing in education and skills development is both the right thing to do and also sound business sense. Investing wisely will provide the human resources to run the Lafarge operations sustainably in the future."
Lafarge Education Trust Chairperson