The Mineworkers Investment Company (MIC) has moved way beyond its peers in the mass-based black economic empowerment (BEE) space, with a R248m payout to its shareholder.

This brings MIC’s total disbursement to the Mineworkers Investment Trust to R370m since its inception in 1994. The price tag has shamed many other BEE entities that claim to have trusts disbursing to the poor.

Many of these entities seem to be trapped in a perpetual asset base building stage with no sign of a windfall for their beneficiaries. However, individuals occupying executive positions have raked in millions of rand in pay packages and equity-based incentive schemes.

MIC was established to create a sustamable income base to benefit welfare development initiatives for the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM). It started with an initial donation of R3m. MIC is owned by and is accountable to the trust, which runs projects including hard skills development and general life skills pro- grammes. It also runs a bursary scheme for children of NUM members.

MIC has built an asset base valued at about R10bn by participating in BEE equity transfer deals. Its star rose last year when the group was involved in the buyout of gambling group Peermont and media giant Primedia, at a cost of R7bn each.

MIC’s total portfolio features BEE stakes in various operations including FirstRand, BP Southern Africa and Tracker. “The distribution is meant to cover the trust’s needs for the next five years, which translate to about R50m/year,” says MIC chairman Paul Nkuna.

He says MIC has committed to distribute an equivalent of between 1,5% and 2% of its assets a year to the trust.

Only HCI, the investment company linked to the SA Clothing & Textile Workers Union, comes close to MIC’s cash distribution to beneficiaries, surpassing the R1OOm mark.

BEE groups such as WDB Investments, Wiphold, Thebe Invest ments and Kagiso Trust Investments (KTI) are still battling to keep up with the distribution agenda.

KTI was established in 1994 to create a sustainable income base for community development agency Kagiso Trust. But by the end of the past financial year, the group had disbursed less than R20m to the trust, despite the fact that it has grown to become one of the leading BEE players, with net asset value of about R2bn.

Source: Financial Mail – Slbonelo Redebe