The Employee Share Ownership Trust would have 24 million shares. Youth Development, Indigenisation and Empowerment minister Saviour Kasukuwere lauded the company’s move and said Meikles should establish a youth empowerment facility.
“Employee Share Ownership Trusts are one of the designated vehicles for broad-based participation in the implementation of indigenisation and economic empowerment programmes,” he said.
“Each employee share ownership trust shall spell out the whole governance structure relating to the operation of the trust.”
The Employee Share Ownership Scheme constitutes 20% of the company’s shareholding structure, which is composed of 10% of the company’s equity belonging to employees while the other 10% goes to the executive empowerment trust.
“This enables the company to achieve 51% compliance as stipulated in the indigenisation legislation,” said Kasukuwere.
Under the new arrangement, any changes to the shareholding structure can only be effected at the company’s Annual General Meeting (AGM.)
Meikles board chairman, John Moxon said under the outgrower scheme, Interfresh and Meikles are set to fund groups of Zimbabwean youth to enter into specialised horticulture in peri-urban Harare.
“Interfresh are to provide technical support for the venture and the fund will be administered by IDBZ (Infrastructure Development Bank of Zimbabwe).
“The youth group co-ordination and monitoring will be undertaken by the ministry while Meikles will be ready to assist this project financially,” said Moxon.
Moxon said the company has received approval for a further investment by Pick ‘n Pay in TM Supermarkets, a development that would result in a rollout of supermarkets in the country. Some of the TM outlets would carry the Pick ‘n Pay name.
Moxon said there would be further indigenisation opportunities in the form of franchises.
“I have often stated that Meikles Limited has always embraced the spirit and objectives of the indigenisation laws of Zimbabwe, we will ensure group compliance with these laws,” he said.
The company also launched a youth revolving fund in the form of an out-grower scheme worth US$200 000 catering for Harare’s peri-urban areas.
“Meikles in this youth empowerment facility is going to be providing a direct market for the youths’ produce.
“In this endeavour, I expect to see a strong procurement relationship developing between the youths and Meikles Limited going forward,” said Kasukuwere.