Cape Town - Nearly 8 000 full-time employees at the Clicks Group will benefit from a massive R1.3 billion employee share ownership scheme payout as well as a further R100 million donation to the Clicks Foundation for educational bursaries.
The group’s chief executive David Kneale said in Cape Town yesterday that since the launch of the employee share ownership programme (ESOP) scheme in 2010 the share price has shown a four-fold increase over seven years.
Michael Fleming, Vikesh Ransunder, David Kneale and Bertina Engelbrecht from the Clicks Group. Picture: Tracey Adams/African News Agency (ANA)
The R1.3bn represents the first 50% payout under the scheme with the second and final 50% payment set to be made in a year’s time.
“That’s an incredible result. It’s testimony to the hard work and dedication of everyone across the business. What makes the achievement all the more outstanding is that it’s been done in really tough economic conditions,” said Kneale.
He said the group had two big objectives for the scheme at the time of its launch, to accelerate transformation and to help build commitment to a performance-driven organisation.
Speaking on what the payout will mean for staff, Bertina Engelbrecht, group human resources director, said “life-changing” is the overriding word people in the group were using.
Clicks employees celebrated a windfall this week. Video: African News Agency (ANA Video)
“I got the most beautiful mail – I can almost tear-up – from one of the beneficiaries on Thursday when we sent out the notification that the payment was going to be coming through. She said 'I worked my whole life and for the first time I will be able to buy a home’ and when you are talking about personal interest stories, we’ve got a person in this building who had been fostering a child but was not able to adopt because she did not have the means because you have to be able to show you have the facilities for the child… she said this child that I foster and love, I can finally adopt,” said Engelbrecht.
She said that when talking about life-changing, it's not the material things for people that will be changing but their lives and legacies for their children that will change.
Jazz Art dancers performed at an event hosted by Clicks to celebrate its staff. Picture: Tracey Adams/African News Agency (ANA)
Engelbrecht added that the 50% payment represented the equivalent of more than a year’s salary for each employee.
“Most people said it is so much more than we thought. We had been educating our staff for more than a year because what we did not want was ‘sharks’ coming in and trying to sell them products or getting them to buy things.”