BEE Retail Empowerment

Since 1962 Total South Africa has followed a consistent policy of identifying potential entrepreneurs in the disadvantaged communities to be trained and empowered as service station dealers.

  • By mid-1996, more than 140 of Total's service stations in South Africa were owned and/or operated by Black businessmen.
  • Of these dealers, 25% are already among the top 50 fuel sellers in the Total network.
  • Since 1992 alone, Total invested more than R70 million in 63 "Black" service stations of which 27 were new projects costing R55 million.
  • Between them, Total's Black dealers provide employment to at least 2 200 people who in turn support some 6 500 dependants.
  • A Black dealer was elected chairman of the National Dealer Council in 1993 and still serves on the Council.
  • The company has sponsored study tours to France and the UK for a number of Black service station operators and NABFRA members.

Creating opportunities and jobs

In every new project or routine operation where goods or services are to be bought the Total policy is to give preference to local/affirmative action parties

Construction: In an average year, Total builds or refurbishes about 30 service stations at a cost of some R70 million. Of this amount an average of R21 million is devoted to affirmative action organisations.

Some of the service station projects completed with Black entrepreneurs as main contractors include Ekangala, Tweefontein, Thabong, Pimville, Orlando, Guys & Dolls (Soweto), at a total investment of over R9 million.

Moreover the company urges its consultants (engineers, architects, surveyors etc) to follow affirmative action policies in their own organisations. As a result, several of these consultants have appointed Black professionals as full partners.

Distribution: Transportation of Total's fuel and lubricant products to clients creates various opportunities for affirmative action appointments. Again, company policy is to award such contracts to local/Black entrepreneurs wherever possible.

In keeping with the spirit of the RDP, Total actively supports such contracts, provided sound business principles apply. The annual value of these contracts is in the region of R2 million.

Small contracts: These include minor building projects, painting, electrical and mechanical repairs at depots and service stations. These areas offer much scope for the employment of local/affirmative action contractors, and Total goes out of its way to find and appoint them.

In a typical year, Total spends about R70 million on service station investment projects, including the building of new stations and the revamping of existing stations. An examination of expenditure in recent years shows that, conservatively estimated, some R21 million (30%) of the company's annual investment expenditure was placed directly with AA organisations:

  • New service station developments done in conjunction with AA developers.
  • New service station buildings built by AA main contractors.
  • Alterations to existing service station buildings done by AA sub-contractors.
  • Labour for new and existing service station projects supplied by AA labour-only contractors.
  • Labour for new and existing service station projects sourced from the community in which the development is located.
  • Maintenance work such as painting, landscaping, cleaning and servicing done by AA contractors.
  • Assisting black business organisations

For more than 10 years Total has had strong ties with organised Black business, ranging form the Black Management Forum, Nafcoc and all its affiliations to the taxi industry. SABTA, SALDTA and RSM (Retail Service Management) are subsidised on a monthly basis and a TOTAL employee has been seconded to NAFU on a full-time basis.

At local level numerous financial grants and material assistance from the company have helped promote Black business in general, for instance:

  • Financial support of Johannesburg's Business Opportunity Centre, run by the National Economic Initiative.
  • Financial support of several Western Cape organisations: Black & Tan Association, SA National Business Union, Mitchell's Plain Taxi Association, Mitchell's Plain RDP Forum, Western Cape Taxi Task Team, George Taxi Association.
  • The Joint Management Development Programme (JDMP), run by TOTAL in association with the Paris Chamber of Commerce, prepares Black candidates for management positions.
  • The National African Farmers' Union (NAFU) gets a large annual grant to cover its administrative costs.
  • Financial and other forms of support for numerous seminars, workshops and courses for disadvantaged secretaries, admin-assistants and business people.

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