Thabo Mokgatlha has been appointed as the new chairman of YeboYethu, the black economic empowerment (BEE) scheme of Vodacom. BEE is designed to widen the South African economy’s ownership, mainly in white hands 26 years after apartheid.
Mokgatlha will replace Zarina Bassa, who will step down with effect from the next annual general meeting, scheduled for 27 July.
He is the CEO of Baphalane Ba Mantserre Investment Holdings and serves as a non-executive director on various other boards. Baphalane Ba Mantserre Investment Holdings is the investment holding arm of the Baphalane Ba Mantserre Community Trust. The Baphalane Ba Mantserre Community is a community of approximately 10 000 members located in the North West province.
Mokgatlha was previously the Head of Business and Treasury of the Royal Bafokeng Nation (RBN) and served on numerous boards in the RBN group.
He was also a senior lecturer (Accounting and Taxation) and Finance Manager of the University of North West and served in the Office of the Auditor-General as a Centre Manager and the North West Parks and Tourism Board as Finance Manager.
“The Board wishes to extend its sincere gratitude to Zarina for 13 years of dedication to ensuring that the shareholders of YeboYethu derived value from the company’s investment in Vodacom,” YeboYethu said in a statement.
“Zarina has fulfilled the role of chairman since her appointment to the Board in June 2008 and she oversaw the listing of the company on the JSE Limited during 2016.”
In 2018, Zarina was instrumental in the implementation of the new Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment ownership transaction in terms of which Yeboyethu acquired 6.23% shareholding in Vodacom Group, reads the statement.
Vodacom Group is the largest mobile network operator in South Africa with significant operations in Lesotho, Tanzania, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Mozambique and Kenya, through Safaricom.
Established in 2008 YeboYethu was priced at R25.00 per share, and more than 100 000 qualifying black investors participated. The share listed for trading on an over-the-counter platform in 2014 and their value had jumped to about R45.00 per share.
In 2008, Vodacom facilitated a R7.5 billion B-BBEE deal where different groups acquired shares in its South African operations (Vodacom SA). The groups were YeboYethu, Thebe Investment Corporation, Royal Bafokeng Holdings and Vodacom SA employees (ESOP). That deal was set to mature in 2018.
Instead of liquidating the 2008 deal and distributing cash to investors, as it usually happens in B-BBEE deals, Vodacom opted to extend the deal’s life by another ten years to 2028, making for a new R17.5 billion formation.