PMG was first awarded a Level 1 B-BBEE rating in 2017, which is the highest possible rating. It then became one of the largest OOH media companies to have achieved this rating.

It was also one of a small group of enterprise organisations within the marketing and communication sector to qualify as being significantly empowered in terms of South African legislation.

Tshego Sefolo, CEO of Agile Capital and current chairperson of PMG, says, "When we partnered with PMG as a shareholder and partner in 2011, we had a very clear idea of what it meant to select the right partner," says Sefolo. "We were looking for a company seeking meaningful empowerment — not one that wanted to pay lip service to equity."

"We made the right decision; PMG is an organisation that truly understands what empowerment is and how it can be leveraged to make a real difference in society," adds Sefolo.

In an effort to drive empowerment through targeted initiatives, PMG continues to offer leadership programmes accredited by the Services SETA through the PMG Training Academy, which was founded in 2015 by its ProActive™ division.

Graduates who complete the programmes successfully receive an NQF Level 4 FET Certificate. The academy was established in order to increase the skills level within the OOH and activations industry, making it easier for graduates to pursue a career in media, sales, marketing and communications.

PMG frequently employs programme graduates within its various divisions, which underlies its commitment to broadening empowerment within the workplace. "For us, empowerment is not just about ownership structures, it's about building the right kind of organisation — one that actively seeks to create jobs and work opportunities for previously disadvantaged people," says PMG's deputy CEO Mzukisi Deliwe.

"We observe that a lot of 100% black-owned media companies are extremely vocal about B-BBEE but focus only on the ownership issue. And [they] do very little about changing South African society. It is about committing to developing those sectors of society that require sustained and consistent support," adds Deliwe.

"Offering opportunities to a large constituency of black South Africans is what true empowerment is about — not simply enriching a few people. It's an integral part of our transformation philosophy," Deliwe says.

PMG scored a total of 119.12 points on the B-BBEE Scorecard — more than the 100 points required to qualify for Level 1 status. This, according to the company, is a clear indication of its commitment towards broad-based empowerment.

PMG says that companies that choose PMG as a preferred supplier can not only rest assured that they are supporting 'real' broad-based empowerment, but that they are also entitled to claim — for their own scorecard — R1.35 for every rand spent with the company, due to its procurement recognition level of 135%.
Additionally, PMG has shown efforts to economically uplift previously disadvantaged people in its strategic partnership with MTN. The partnership sees PMG managing more than 2 000 sales agents across four provinces. These sales agents can sell airtime and data to consumers, connect their SIM cards and port them to the MTN network.

This allows the sales agents to earn sustainably while taking advantage of training and mentorship. In addition, PMG is currently employing 236 qualifying individuals as part of the MTN-steered YES4YOUTH programme, which provides individuals with training and workplace experience. This intends to be a step up to long-term employment.

"We have long been leaders when it comes to transformation in the OOH space," says Deliwe. "Each initiative we become involved with further cements our reputation as an empowerment engine par excellence, driven to advance the economic interest of previously disadvantaged people across the board."

"We really want to make a measurable impact and, with transformation a key business imperative at PGM, we believe we can continue to achieve this," concludes Deliwe.

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