Non-financial review

Social review

Media24 takes its responsibility towards the communities in which it operates seriously. We promote the well-being of society, our customers and our employees by contributing to initiatives that improve the quality of life in these communities.

How we do this:


  • We respect human rights.
  • We support previously disadvantaged businesses by actively seeking such suppliers.
  • We contribute to the communities in which we live and work. We support them through community involvement, and in some communities in which we operate, we contribute to educational programmes.
  • We conduct business fairly, ethically and with integrity. Our code of business ethics and conduct defines our culture.

Our people

  • We invest in the continuous development of our people.
  • We reward employees fairly.
  • We encourage our employees to contribute to sustainability and innovation initiatives in the group.
  • We respect the rights of our employees and their diversity.
  • We encourage employees to report, through secure channels, any areas where the group might be failing in its business conduct and values.
  • We endeavour to comply with local employment laws.

Extract from Media24 sustainable development policy


Transformation of the media industry and the company is a strategic imperative for Media24. Various initiatives are employed to develop appropriate skills and responsible procurement practices. Media24 has made solid progress with its transformation aims in recent years. These are tracked against a scorecard under the Department of Trade and Industry’s code of good practice for black economic empowerment (BEE).

During the review period we retained a level 3 status on our latest BEE scorecard and increased our overall score by 7,88 points to 80,55 – the highest score we have ever achieved – with a total procurement recognition of 137,5% on BEE spend. Black ownership now stands at 45,82%, well above the Print and Digital Media Transformation Task Team's (PDMTTT) recommendation, and we scored full points for the elements ownership, socio-economic development and enterprise development.

Direct empowerment

Welkom Yizani

In 2006 Media24 launched the largest broad-based black economic empowerment (BBBEE) share offer in the print media industry, Welkom Yizani. This enabled eligible black people and groups to indirectly acquire equity in Media24 Holdings.

The Welkom Yizani scheme’s retention period came to an end on 9 December 2013 and shareholders are able to trade their shares to eligible black people through an online trading platform. During the past year the Registrar of Securities Services (the “Registrar”) indicated that all traditional over-the-counter trading platforms like Welkom Yizani should regularise their affairs in terms of the Financial Markets Act, 2012.

Welkom Yizani has engaged and continues to engage proactively with the Registrar in this regard and will continue to build on the positive engagement it has had with the Registrar thus far. Welkom Yizani remains committed to complying with any directives and/or conditions issued by the Registrar.

Black economic empowerment partners

Media24 and other South African Naspers group companies have combined their buying power in South Africa in a centralised procurement company called CommerceZone, which implemented a BEE procurement policy. Suppliers’ BEE performance is evaluated against specific criteria and must be improved annually. Media24 achieved 18,2 out of 20 points for preferential procurement of goods and services from all suppliers.


Employment equity

Media24 values diversity in its workforce. The breakdown of the group’s consolidated annual employment equity status for fulltime employees as at 31 March 2015 is shown below:

Employee benefits

Work environment

Our work environment is designed to promote collaboration, with open-plan offices where possible. We encourage work/life balance by giving staff the option of flexible working hours, provided that operational requirements can accommodate this.

Retirement benefits

The group provides retirement benefits for full-time employees, primarily as monthly premiums to a number of defined contribution pension and provident funds. The assets of these funds are generally held in separate trustee-administered funds.

Medical aid benefits

Medical aid membership is compulsory for permanent employees in the group, with the employer contributing to the monthly premium as part of each employee’s total cost to company.

Post-retirement medical aid benefit

Some group companies provide postretirement healthcare benefits. This entitlement applies to employees appointed before a certain date, remaining in service until retirement age and completing a minimum service period.

Long-service benefits

Media24 rewards long service by people employed before a certain date with a bonus at 10-, 15-, 25- and 40-year anniversaries. In addition, a retirement gratuity is paid to qualifying employees who retire with at least 15 years’ service.

Termination benefits

Termination benefits are payable when a company decides to terminate an individual’s employment before the normal retirement date or an employee accepts voluntary redundancy in exchange for those benefits. In all instances, terminations are only concluded against a detailed formal plan (with specified minimum contents) after appropriate consultation and once realistic alternatives have been exhausted.

Equity compensation benefits

To retain the skills on which our sustainability depends, the group grants share options/share appreciation rights to employees under a number of equity compensation plans.

Employee relations

The group complies with labour legislation in its operating areas. In South Africa, Media24’s statutory reports are submitted to the relevant government departments.

Appropriate and representative consultative forums protect the interests of employees across the group and have become a valuable input to decisionmaking.

Training and development

Media24 invested some R40m in the past financial year in developing employees at various levels. Despite tough trading conditions, we have continued to increase our investment in training year on year.

Skills development

The Media24 Academy’s 2014 Graduate Programme saw 13 students obtaining an honours degree in journalism, one student graduating in photography and four in computer science. A further 10 completed the Graduates in Media internship, eight of whom were offered temporary or permanent roles at Media24.

This year’s Graduate Programme, which commenced in February 2015, accommodated 34 carefully selected graduates who completed intensive inhouse training.

Apex Future Leaders is a two-year executive management programme to drive transformation at management level. The programme is presented in partnership with Duke Corporate Education for the first year and UCT’s Graduate School of Business for the second year, and combines academic training with practical assignments and six-month stints in our print and digital publishing divisions. Six black candidates (five females and one male) are currently being trained for fasttrack promotion to senior management. They will complete the programme in March 2016.

Beneficiaries of the Media24 Academy’s initiatives over the past year included:

  • 21 journalism honours graduates who were awarded bursaries in 2013 and began internships in 2014 (38% black and 86% women)
  • 13 journalism and four computer science honours students and one photography student who were awarded bursaries in 2014 (83% black and 78% women)
  • 34 graduates who joined the Graduates in Media programme in 2015 (85% black and 62% women), and
  • 198 employees who were awarded bursaries, valued at over R4m for part-time studies in 2015 (79% black and 59% women).

The Novus Academy focuses on developing the printing skills, as well as leadership and management skills needed to run a successful printing business. The printing qualifications offered by the academy are not only accredited locally, but also internationally by the City & Guilds of London Institute. This academy has implemented a sophisticated electronic learning management system for employees to complete training and be assessed electronically. A core part of the training offered by the academy is apprenticeships in printing trades.

Health and safety

We perform regular risk assessments of health and safety conditions at our facilities.
We aim to have an injury-free workplace.
We train people at our higher-risk facilities in matters of health and safety pertinent to that facility or operation.
We monitor management’s mitigating actions through regular operational, internal and external auditing and reporting processes.
A healthy workforce contributes to business success. Several of our businesses provide medical aid and wellness programmes for their staff.
We aim to comply with the relevant laws.

Extract from Media24 sustainable development policy

The workplace

Implementing a healthy, safe workplace at both administrative and production facilities is a priority. Health and safety committees ensure compliance with applicable regulations, in line with local legislation where required. Only trained employees sit on these committees.

Regular occupational health and safety risk control audits are conducted by operational entities and improvements are made as required. Significant matters are reported to, and monitored by, Media24’s audit and risk committees.

Media24’s distribution and printing operations make extensive use of contractors and organisers. Most of these workers are from previously disadvantaged communities and receive training in performing their jobs safely and effectively.

The nature of the printing business, which owns and manages printing facilities, makes it the area in the Media24 group with the highest inherent risk for injuries on duty. The Media24 safety, health and environment committee (a committee of the board) also monitors significant related issues in the workplace.


Media24 monitors the buildings in which it operates and conducts annual health, safety and environmental compliance audits, as well as building scans. Injuries on duty are stringently monitored, and the company aims to have no injuries or deaths on duty. Novus Holdings has stringent internal monitoring processes in place.


Several wellness programmes are operated by the group in a preventative approach to employee health, including HIV/Aids testing. Regular eye and hearing tests are performed on drivers and staff exposed to noise. Professional and independent psychological and social support is provided for staff in businesses.

Media24 and Novus Holdings offer wellness days, in partnership with a leading health insurance company, at many of their offices across South Africa. Health services offered include hypertension and blood sugar testing (diabetes), cholesterol testing, HIV/Aids counselling and testing and a number of risk control programmes. Novus Holdings also has wellness centres at certain printing facilities.

HIV/Aids and tuberculosis

Media24 is acutely aware of the HIV/Aids and tuberculosis pandemic in Africa, and the social and economics implications of these illnesses. Voluntary testing, comprehensive health management and medical treatment programmes are available on the medical aid scheme.


The group evaluates the direct impact of its activities on the environment as part of its risk management process.

Our initiatives around energy efficiency and waste management are ongoing. The current electricity crisis in the country has impacted our carbon footprint, as well as our cost base negatively. We have sufficient generator capacity in the group, but it is a costly source of electricity in terms of maintenance and operation.

The most significant impact remains the use of electricity (scope 2 emissions). Printing operations are primarily based in South Africa where the main source of electricity is coal. These operations measure their gross carbon footprint in scope 1 and 2 emissions in accordance with the Greenhouse Gas Protocol (GHG Protocol), the accepted international standard for accounting and reporting on emissions.

The GHG Protocol was created in 2001 when the World Resources Institute and World Business Council for Sustainable Development identified a need for consistency in how organisations accounted for and reported on emissions.

Electricity accounts for 100% of scope 2 emissions (99% of total emissions) in our operations. A continuous supply of quality electricity is vital to the continuity of our operations. To mitigate this risk, we installed generators at key premises several years ago to ensure a continuous supply of electricity during power outages.

Media24 continued implementing green initiatives to keep its carbon footprint of 125 021 tonnes of CO2e in check during the past year (2014: 135 752 tonnes of CO2e). The group measured the direct emissions of 21 locations across South Africa and will continue to focus on refining the process of collecting complete sets of data in the coming year. Printing operations contribute 87% to the total carbon emissions of the Media24 group.

The delivery fleet operated by On the Dot was reduced to scope 1 emissions. The results of the ongoing cost optimisation throughout Media24 was evident in a reduction of the electricity usage. At Novus Holdings, the electrical biomass boiler at Paarl Media Cape was placed on standby for most of the year, one of the presses was under maintenance for over a month and the remaining lights were converted to energy-saving lights.

Our impact on the environment and our response

Media24’s operations are diverse, ranging from printing plants to ecommerce platforms. Each type of business has a unique impact on the environment and requires different solutions to limit impact.

The group mainly produces newspapers, magazines and books. It recycles all unsold newspapers and magazines. Through informative articles published in its newspapers, magazines and on our digital platforms, consumers are also educated to effectively lower their impact on the environment. Although Media24 recycles all unused paper and unsold products, it is in the group’s commercial interest to use paper efficiently, limit paper destined to be recycled and minimise unsold products.

Printing facilities

In terms of its operating philosophy, Novus Holdings runs high-quality processes with the least environmental impact. The Novus Holdings group is dedicated to creating a cleaner and greener culture by raising awareness of environmental issues, and strives to implement the latest applicable technologies across its business.

As a result, it enables Novus Holdings to eliminate emissions and reduce its carbon footprint in a variety of ways.

Novus Holdings is amongst the leading South African companies in assessing, recognising and mitigating the impact of its print production processes on natural resources. The group has proactively implemented practices and policies to minimise the effect on the environment and has to date invested over R100m in environmentally responsible practices to reduce, reuse and recycle while still delivering superior products.

Under the Paarl Media Group name, Novus Holdings was the first African printing organisation to receive Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) – FSC-C022948 Chain of Custody (CoC) certification. Novus Holdings also holds a certification from the Programme for Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC) at Paarl Media Cape and Paarl Media Paarl. Both FSC and PEFC are independent verifications that the products printed can be traced back from their point of origin to responsible, wellmanaged forestry, controlled and recycled resources.

Customers can choose from a range of international and local environmentally sustainable paper stock options.


The environmental impact of our internet businesses is limited mainly to the use of electricity.


In the past year there were no environmental accidents, nor were any environmental fines imposed by Government. The group will continue to refine its processes for managing its impact on the environment.