Artifact is now a B-BBEE Level 4 agency (under the new MAC codes) with several divisions offering specialities where needed, including digital (Level 4 SME), promotions (100% black-owned), integrated (51% black-owned), and print (51% black-owned).

Artifact managing director Andy Taoushiani says the length of time this deal took to put together was not because the company didn't want to embrace the Mac Charter, but because he believes there has to be an element of trust between partners.

"We are immensely proud and positive about our new shareholding, especially since it is a completely transparent partnership, bringing new ideas to the business and offering increased value to our customers," adds Taoushiani.

According to Artifact, after courting many possible candidates, Taoushiani discovered Philasande Sokhela, whom he says will take the company to the next level. Sokhela has a BSC in construction studies and worked as a quantity surveyor.

Sokhela says, "The MAC Charter means it’s going to become more and more difficult to do business in South Africa without the requisite BEE rating. The system is designed to reward bigger companies for awarding work to smaller companies with good BEE scores – which is where Artifact comes in."

Taoushiani adds, "Big companies loathe changing their partnerships on (for example) huge printing contracts worth millions of Rands, as they have come to trust and rely on us over time." 

"What our new structure means is that clients can continue to rely on our expertise, and proven track record, while maximising their BBBEE points. It's been a lightbulb moment for our clients," says Taoushiani.

Sokhela has aimed to bring a network of smaller suppliers and entrepreneurs to the table. "We need to keep enterprise development top of mind. There are many small entrepreneurs who have not had these opportunities and we want to extend our vision to include them," he adds.

Taoushiani says this is only the beginning as they continue the process of bringing young black people within the company into management structures and truly transforming from within.

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